Wildfire closes big stretch of highway through Kootenay National Park
BANFF, Alta. — The highway that winds through British Columbia’s Kootenay National Park has been closed indefinitely as wildfire smoke makes for dangerous driving conditions.
Parks Canada said Wednesday that Highway 93 has been closed from Castle Junction near the TransCanada Highway to the town of Radium Hot Springs some 100 kilometres south. Incident commander Jane Park said the smoke is extremely dense in some areas. ``The visibility is definitely under 100 metres, some places probably under 50 metres,’’ she said.
The Verdant Creek wildfire burning just west of the Alberta-B.C. boundary has shuttered British Columbia’s Mount Assiniboine Provincial Park and closed parts of Banff and Kootenay national parks.
Park said the fire now covers an estimated 110 square kilometres _ double previous estimates.
``That’s significantly larger than the last estimate mostly due to the fact that we were unable to get to the southern end of the fire to do accurate mapping due to smoke,’’ she said.