Calgary

Hiking trails reopen at Sunshine Village as crews make progress against Verdant Creek wildfire

Some Alberta hiking trails that were closed because of the Verdant Creek wildfire in British Columbia are reopening Wednesday.

Fire still burning on western side of Continental Divide

Hiking trails at Sunshine Village reopened on Wednesday after being temporarily closed because of the nearby Verdant Creek wildfire across the Continental Divide in British Columbia. (Sunshine Village)

Some Alberta hiking trails that were closed because of the Verdant Creek wildfire in British Columbia are reopening Wednesday.

Crews have made enough progress in fighting the fire to allow Parks Canada to open trails in the Egypt Lake area and in Healy Pass near the provincial border.

The 12-kilometre trail system up at Sunshine Meadows and Sunshine Village is also in the clear, Parks Canada said in a release.

Although the fire is still burning in Kootenay National Park and B.C.'s Assiniboine Provincial Park, it's not a threat to any Alberta communities in the Bow Valley, officials say. 

More trails in the area might be reopened as the fire continues to be brought under control.

Sunshine Village spokesperson Kendra Scurfield says hikers could still see some smoke from the fire burning across the Continental Divide.

"But everything is contained and it's still happening quite a ways away, with the fire moving on," she said.

Sunshine Village was closed last weekend to allow crews to use the area as a staging ground to battle the Verdant Creek wildfire. The fire reached to within 2.5 kilometres of the village last week. 

A fire ban remains in effect in Banff, Kootenay and Yoho national parks. Backcountry camping permits in the Banff and Kootenay closure areas remain cancelled until further notice.

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