Wildfire danger forces evacuation of Waterton Lakes National Park

WATERTON — A popular national park in the southwestern corner of Alberta is under a mandatory evacuation order because of increased wildfire danger.

Waterton Lakes National Park says on its website that the order covers the townsite and all other areas of the park except for Highways 5 and 6 and the Chief Mountain border crossing.

The park has been closed to all incoming traffic except for emergency vehicles.

The Kenow fire prompted an evacuation alert earlier this week as it burned mostly in British Columbia on the park’s western boundary.

But Parks Canada says the fire has not been contained, has advanced into the park and now covers almost 80 square kilometres.

An evacuation centre has been set up in the nearby community of Pincher Creek.

“The safety of visitors to Waterton Lakes National Park, residents of Waterton, employees, fire crews and emergency responders is a top priority for Parks Canada,” the park said in a news release Friday.

“A change in weather conditions has led to increased potential danger and hazards from the Kenow wildfire that necessitate the evacuation of the park.”

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