| Posted: Friday, Aug 23, 2013 01:13 pm
A wildfire burning near Numa Creek is causing smoke to drift into the Bow Valley and as far as northern Calgary on Thursday evening (Aug. 22) and Friday morning (Aug. 23).
The fire began on July 25 in Kootenay National Park due to lightning, and quickly grew from one hectare to more than 50 hectares overnight due to a thunderstorm in the area.
On Thursday, it was weather that also saw the wildfire grow from approximately 90 hectares to 400 hectares, producing a column of smoke that has drifted towards the Bow Valley.
"Yesterday due to warm temperatures and low relative humidity and high winds the fire took a bit of a run, grew from approximately 90 hectares and it is now sitting around 400 hectres," said fire communications officer for Yoho and Kootenay national parks Linsday McPherson. "So it did produce a column of smoke that was highly visible in the area and winds drifted it into the Bow Valley and as far as northern Calgary as well, so it is definitely accounting for the smoke in the area last night and this morning."
Parks Canada is not fighting the fire, but since late July have left it to burn naturally within a containment area. McPherson said the fire remains within the initial containment area and is not threatening visitors, staff or any existing structures or buildings and is well away from the highway.
"Being that it was in an area of prescription, they were letting it burn naturally on the landscape and crews are just out at the moment right now and they are assessing their next steps and the control actions on the ground for what's going to happen, which will likely include some clearing, some sprinklering and looking ahead to potentially doing a bit of a backburn operation similar to what was carried out on July 31 to put a guard in place," she said.
A smoke advisory was sent out on Thursday, and those who are sensitive are asked to take appropriate precautions. McPherson recommended not using the area for those who are sensitive to smoke.
The Floe Lake campground and trail are still open, the continuous Rockwall trail from Floe Lake to Helmet Falls is inaccessible, Numa Creek trail, campground and drainage are closed, Tumbling Creek trail is closed due to flood gamage and Helmet Creek trail and campground via Marble Canyon is closed due to a grizzly bear feeding near the Marble Canyon/Paint Pots trail junction.