Bound­ary fire un­der con­trol, parks crew head home

Calgary Herald - - CITY + REGION - ZACH LAING zlaing@post­media.com On Twit­ter: @zjlaing

It’s been a long few weeks for fire­fight­ers bat­tling the nearly 1,200-hectare Bound­ary wild­fire, but Parks Canada at­tack teams from Banff, Koote­nay and Grass­lands na­tional parks will be headed home on Satur­day.

Parks Canada said teams will be with­drawn, with grow­ing con­fi­dence in that there will be no more sig­nif­i­cant fire growth within Water­ton Lakes Na­tional Park.

On Fri­day, the fire was roughly 1,100 hectares with only 14 per cent con­tain­ment. The fire will con­tinue to be worked on by the U.S. North­ern Rock­ies In­ci­dent Man­age­ment Team.

A re­mote cam­era will be in­stalled to pro­vide real-time im­ages of the area, Parks Canada said.

The fire — ini­tially sparked on Aug. 23 seven kilo­me­tres south of the town of Water­ton and on the U.S. side of the 49th par­al­lel — stayed mainly stag­nant un­til dry and windy con­di­tions pushed the blaze into Water­ton park on Sept. 7.

The fires prompted clo­sures of the Bertha Lake Trail, and Bertha Lake and Bertha Bay back­coun­try camp­grounds, which re­opened Fri­day morn­ing.

The Lakeshore Trail be­yond Bertha Bay back­coun­try camp­ground re­mains closed, as does the Bi­son Pad­dock over­look for he­li­copter oper­a­tions.

Last week, fire crews said the 2017 Kenow fire, which burned 38,000 hectares of for­est and trig­gered an evac­u­a­tion of Water­ton Lakes Na­tional Park, had pro­vided a fire break for crews work­ing on the Bound­ary fire.

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