Wildfire, estimated at 21 hectares, burning out of control in Kootenay National Park
A more than 21-hectare wildfire is burning out of control in southern Kootenay National Park in British Columbia near the Alberta border, Parks Canada said Friday.
In a Facebook post, Parks Canada said crews are responding to the wildfire in the Mitchell Ridge area of the park, approximately two kilometres east of the Kootenay Valley Viewpoint and seven kilometres north of Nipika Mountain Resort.
The fire is considered out of control and is believed to have been caused by lightning Wednesday night.
Parks Canada said helicopters, attack crews and heavy equipment are on scene, with a total of 20 personnel.
"It's certainly challenging our crews," said Charlie McLellan, fire and vegetation specialist for Parks Canada in Lake Louise, Yoho and Kootenay.
He added there are already a lot of resources being dedicated to ongoing fires in Alberta and Northern B.C.
"It does impact managing some of these fires in terms of it's more difficult to get certain resources — primarily aircraft, is one that we often notice, but also crews."
The fire comes as Alberta's wildfire crisis drags on, and as the return of hot weather in the days ahead threatens to escalate the danger in communities under threat.
Intense wildfires continue to burn across the province, forcing thousands of Albertans from their homes and cloaking communities both near and far from the flames with smoke.
As of Friday afternoon, 99 wildfires were burning across the province. Of the 93 burning inside Alberta's forest protection zones, 25 were classified as out of control.
McLellan said there were no closures in place or restrictions, but Parks Canada would be having those discussions with provincial agencies Saturday.