’Incredible’ effort from firefighters saved Waterton
No homes or businesses in the Waterton townsite were damaged by the Kenow wildfire, thanks to “incredible” efforts by firefighters, Parks Canada said in an update Friday.
Transmission lines from the park boundary to the townsite were significantly damaged and Parks Canada is working with Fortis to restore power to the Waterton area.
Some other park infrastructure was lost, including the Alpine Stables just outside the Waterton townsite. The visitor centre burned down and so did the East Gate warden station, along with equipment and vehicles. Crandall Campground was “significantly” affected by the fire, Parks Canada said.
The bison paddock and fencing were also damaged.
The Prince of Wales Hotel building was saved, though some surrounding facilities were damaged. The Red Rock and Cameron Lake day-use areas, and the Alpine Club of Canada are intact.
The Waterton Lakes Golf Course clubhouse suffered minor exterior damage. The 36,000-hectare fire continues to burn out of control but fire crews have been helped by a dip in temperatures and some precipitation.
There is still a mandatory evacuation order in place for Waterton Lakes National Park. The park has approximately 100 permanent residents, in addition to those who live there seasonally. Mandatory evacuations are also still in place for areas south of Oil Basin Road (Township Road 3-2) within the M.D. of Pincher Creek, affecting approximately 85 people.
Power was restored in M.D. of Pincher Creek Friday afternoon.
An evacuation order affecting another 30 residents in the Castle Mountain Resort area has been lifted.
St. Henry’s Church, south of Pincher Creek didn’t suffer any damage from the Kenow wildfire.