WATERTON LAKES NP - As of Wednesday afternoon (Sept. 6), Parks Canada says the Kenow Fire, which has prompted an evacuation alert in the Waterton Lakes National Park townsite has grown- but has not advanced on the park itself.
Officials say two initial attack crews are in transit, and one crew is working on protecting a number of local facilities with water pumps and sprinklers.
Provincial Environment Minister Shannon Phillips says the province has activated its Emergency Operations Centre which is now at a level two out of three.
"Which means that we have a number of coordination aspects happening right now between us, Parks Canada and still working closely with the government of British Columbia, because that's the origin of this fire."
Officials are encouraging people to visit other destinations if they don't have to be in the park. Phillips says people should also pay close attention to social media for further updates and that they are preparing for any potential evacuation orders.
"We are prepared for an eventual evacuation if that happens, because there are protocols in place as soon as you are at a level two at the provincial operations centre. However we have not put any of that into operation yet, because we don't have to. And so I don't want to alarm the public, however we are asking people to ensure that they stay abreast of what is happening."
Environment Canada has issued an air quality advisory and as temperatures cool overnight, smoke may also settle in the valley bottom, affecting air quality and visibility. People are being asked to drive carefully and to check AB 511 for road conditions.
For smoke and air quality alerts, go to http://www.airhealth.ca
For information on evacuation protocol, go to
Lethbridge News Now will keep you updated with the latest developments.
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