Mount Assiniboine Park closed by wildfire

Mount Assiniboine was looking cool and clear Sunday afternoon, July 23, on the Mount Assiniboine Lodge webcam. But a weather system was predicted later in the evening along with gusty winds and lightning.

Mount Assiniboine was looking cool and clear Sunday afternoon, July 23, on the lodge webcam. But a weather system was predicted later in the evening along with gusty winds and lightning, prompting the BC Wildfire Service and BC Parks to close Mount Assiniboine Provincial Park. Mount Assiniboine Lodge.

Update July 31, 2017—Though trails in the southern half of Mount Assiniboine Provincial Park reopened Wednesday, July 26, increased fire activity and a forecast of continued hot, dry weather prompted BC Parks to close the park again on Monday, July 31st. For the latest on fire activity in the park, check the Mount Assiniboine Provincial Park website.

The B.C. Wildfire Service has closed all access to Mount Assiniboine Provincial Park due to concerns over the Verdant Creek wildfire burning in the north end of the park.

The order was posted by BC’s Southeast Fire Centre in Castlegar at 10:27 pm on July 22: “In an effort to protect public safety, BC Parks, in co-ordination with the BC Wildfire Service, will close Mount Assiniboine Provincial Park to inbound traffic effective immediately.”

This order expands the closure of the north half of the park that was ordered a week ago. The fire size was listed at 4,126 hectares at the time of park closure.

The BC Wildfire Service expressed concern that evacuation of the park would be very difficult should conditions worsen. “This proactive measure will enable a safe and orderly exit of people from the area.”

The closure was triggered by the approach of a trough across southeastern BC on Sunday. It was expected that the system would result in strong winds, lightning, and the possibility the Verdant Creek fire would expand south into the park’s core.

Mount Assiniboine Lodge reports it is “experiencing high call and email volume in response to this issue” and asks people to use www.bcparks.ca for information about the park evacuation.

In addition to the closure of all trails into the park, it is expected that all helicopter access to the park will be curtailed as well. Access trails affected by the closure include:

72—Bryant Creek-Assiniboine Pass (at park boundary)

73—Wonder Pass (at park boundary)

212—Mount Assiniboine via Citadel Pass

(Numbers refer to descriptions in the Canadian Rockies Trail Guide, 9th edition.)