July 15, 2017 5:58 pm
Updated: July 17, 2017 3:36 pm

Areas of Kootenay and Banff national parks closed due to wildfire

WATCH: Banff National Park Field Superintendent Dave McDonough updates the fire situation in Banff and Kootenay national parks.

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Parks Canada said Sunday the wildfire in Kootenay National Park that forced the closure of trails and campgrounds in both Banff and Kootenay national parks has grown in size.

The wildfire in the Verdant Creek area was detected on Saturday morning.

Parks Canada staff said Sunday they are managing the fire with the help of contracted helicopters.

WATCH: Banff National Park Field Superintendent Dave McDonough says that the public’s safety is always the top priority when dealing with a wildfire, but they also want people to be able to enjoy the park.

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Areas closed to the public include:

In Kootenay National Park, the Honeymoon Pass/Verdant Creek and Simpson River trails are closed.

In Banff National Park, the closure encompasses all of the Egypt Lake trails, including Healy Pass, Simpson Pass, Whistling Valley and Pharoah Creek. (See map below).

READ MORE: Edmonton’s air quality at high risk Sunday afternoon

Backcountry camping permits in the affected areas are cancelled until further notice.

“Visitor safety is a priority for Parks Canada and this closure has been implemented to ensure public safety and visitors are prohibited from entering the area until further notice,” read a notice on the Parks Canada website Saturday afternoon.

Sunshine Village and its facilities remain open.

WATCH: Banff National Park Field Superintendent Dave McDonough says Parks Canada implements closures in a preventative way.

Anyone with backcountry reservations in the affected areas is asked to phone 403-762-1556 or visit a Parks Canada Visitor Centre for more information.

The following areas were closed as of 3:15 p.m. Sunday:

 

 

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