Banff’s Sun­shine Vil­lage closes again as fire on Al­berta B.C. bound­ary rages

Cape Breton Post - - Canada -

A re­sort in Banff Na­tional Park will be closed in­def­i­nitely as a wild­fire burns in the wilder­ness close to the Al­berta-B.C. bound­ary.

Sun­shine Vil­lage, a pop­u­lar ski hill that has sum­mer hik­ing trails, says it’s mov­ing lodge guests and staff to the town of Banff.

Fire­fight­ing equip­ment is be­ing brought to the prop­erty as a pre­cau­tion­ary mea­sure.

Parks Canada or­dered the re­sort to clear out guests 10 days ago to make room for fire­fight­ing crews and heavy ma­chin­ery to fight the Ver­dant Creek wild­fire a cou­ple of kilo­me­tres away.

The re­sort re­opened to guests three days later, but now Sun­shine says hot, dry and windy weather has made the fire more ac­tive in Bri­tish Columbia’s Mount Assini­boine Pro­vin­cial Park.

Parks Canada says the fire, cov­er­ing an es­ti­mated 51 square kilo­me­tres, is not threat­en­ing any com­mu­ni­ties and has not spread past the Con­ti­nen­tal Di­vide into Al­berta.

In ad­di­tion to the Sun­shine Vil­lage shut­down, Park Canada said some trail and camp­ground clo­sures have been brought back into ef­fect in Banff as the fire flared up along its north­ern

bound­ary late Sun­day af­ter­noon.

Parks Canada had been plan­ning Mon­day to burn off un­con­sumed fuel as a means to man­age the fire. But the op­er­a­tion

in B.C.’s Koote­nay Na­tional Park was can­celled due to chang­ing weather con­di­tions.

“Warmer tem­per­a­tures are fore­cast through the week and will con­tinue to pro­duce in­creased

fire ac­tiv­ity. Smoke col­umns will likely build in the af­ter­noon, fol­lowed by set­tling into val­ley bot­toms in the evening,’’ Parks Canada said in a re­lease. “This pat­tern is ex­pected

to con­tinue while hot, dry con­di­tions per­sist.’’

It warned smoke may re­duce vis­i­bil­ity along high­ways in and near Banff and Koote­nay na­tional parks.

CP PHOTO

A sign warns of a for­est fire in the area as smoke haze from for­est fires burn­ing in Al­berta and Bri­tish Columbia hangs over Banff, Alta., in Banff Na­tional Park, Fri­day, July 21, 2017.

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