Kenow wildfire destroys visitor centre in Waterton Lakes National Park

Waterton Waterton Lakes National Park Parks Cana

Waterton Waterton Lakes National Park Parks Cana

The Kainai First Nation has declared a local state of emergency due to the Waterton Lakes National Park wildfire potentially reaching parts of the Blood Tribe reserve, about 200 kilometres southwest of Calgary.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the residents, businesses, and staff during this hard time, as well as to the community members of Blood Tribe and municipal district of Pincher Creek and Cardston County who are impacted as this unprecedented fire spreads outside of the national park.

Officials say the Kenow fire moved down the Cameron Valley and along the Akamina Parkway on Monday evening and then started moving through the grasslands along the park's entrance road.

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Cardston County nearby declared a state of emergency and told residents to head to the civic centre in the town of Cardston. At this stage, these measures have been holding within the townsite.

The Pincher Creek Echo will continue to update on our website and Facebook page with further announcements as the situation develops.

The town site however is still intact, including the historic Prince of Wales Hotel, where several firefighters have been dousing it in water to protect the landmark. "We just deployed another crew this morning to replace the ones down there, I think we're up to 51 people who've been deployed to date", said Dongworth.

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Six fire crews, seven helicopters, a National Incident Management team and a specialized fire protection crew are attending the fire which has not yet crossed Sage Pass or South Kootenay Pass into the park.

Parks Canada has also issued a mandatory evacuation order for all areas in Waterton Lakes National Park, including the Waterton Park townsite and all front-country and back-country trails, facilities and areas. “Local evacuation orders are in effect.”.

A special air quality statement has been issued by Environment Canada for the area.

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