Wildfire threatening Waterton Lakes National Park continues to grow
Flames are expected to reach the Akamina Pass today, increasing risk it will spread to the park
The Kenow wildfire threatening Waterton Lakes National Park has grown to 9,400 hectares in size and has moved five kilometres southeast along the Akamina Valley.
Parks Canada said in a news release that three spot fires have ignited within the park in the Tamarack Basin and helicopter crews are dropping water on the flames.
Crews also bucketed the South Kootenay Pass earlier on Sunday.
The fire could reach the Akamina Pass later today, according to Parks Canada, and fire crews will ignite their own fire in order to steer the flames and reduce the potential for spot fires to ignite from embers.
- MORE ALBERTA NEWS | Calgary affordable-housing complex opens in Kingsland after delay
- MORE ALBERTA NEWS | Rude awakening by police dog leaves Lethbridge man bitter and sore
The fire could spread through the park if it goes over the Akamina Pass and then could threaten the townsite.
On the north end of the fire, Alberta Wildfire is using buckets to drop water, foam and retardant.
Parks Canada is also warning people to be cautious in the area due to heavy smoke, which is reducing visibility and could affect those with health conditions.
That heavy smoke is also making it difficult for crews battling the fire.
Waterton remains closed and crews are in place to protect the townsite should the fire approach.