’In­cred­i­ble’ ef­fort from fire­fight­ers saved Water­ton

Calgary Herald - - CITY - MEGHAN POTKINS

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.

JIM WELLS/ FILES

St. Henry’s Church, south of Pincher Creek didn’t suf­fer any dam­age from the Kenow wild­fire.

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