Waterton Lakes National Park Threatened By Wildfires, Putting Townsite’s Residents On Edge

WATERTON LAKES NATIONAL PARK, Alta. — Mandy Mulcahy and her fiance Dave Formosa were watching nervously for news as a wildfire spread closer to the Waterton Lakes National Park townsite in southwestern Alberta.

The pair work at Vimy’s Lounge and Grill — she as a server, he as a sous chef — and have been living in a staff apartment in the small community with their three children since the spring.

“It’s a day-to-day thing,” Mulcahy said from a bed and breakfast in nearby Mountain View, Alta., where the family has hunkered down since Friday’s mandatory evacuation order.

“We get the fire updates and we get a little bit worried — a little bit more every day.”

Parks Canada said the Kenow fire Monday covered about 114 square kilometres and had moved 11.5 kilometres down British Columbia’s Akamina Valley over the past three days.

By Monday night, the fire had become firmly established in the Cameron Valley along the Akamina Parkway. Officials said there was also fire in the Tamarack Basin which is expected to grow and move into the Blakiston Valley and toward the Red Rock Parkway.

Late in the evening, Alberta Emergency Services issued a mandatory evacuation order for residents of the Municipal District of Pincher Creek No. 9, which is located just north of the national park.

‘Some relief in sight’

Residents were asked to relocate to a reception centre that had been set up at the Vertical Church in nearby Pincher Creek.

Meanwhile, nearby Cardston County declared a state of emergency as the fire entered the area and also told residents to evacuate to the civic centre in the town of Cardston.

“Smoke may severely reduce visibility and create hazardous road conditions,” warned the alert.

Parks Canada’s Rick Kubian said the fire had the potential to reach the Waterton townsite though they were hopeful that would not happen.

UPDATE: The #KenowFire continues to grow & intensify. Also, crews are managing spots fires within the boundaries of @WatertonLakesNP#ABfirepic.twitter.com/igefyM4GT9

— Minister C. McKenna (@ec_minister) September 11, 2017

“That would require really specific alignment of winds and really challenging fire suppression conditions,” he said.

“And so with our fire suppression activities that we have planned and prepared for, we’re hopeful that it would not reach the townsite area in a single operational period, but it is possible.”

Kubian said he’s expecting another two to three days of burning before rainy weather is forecast to sweep in later in

Source:: The Huffington Post – Canada Travel

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