Any hiker who planned on completing Kootenay National Park’s Rockwall Trail after late July knows that the route was closed between Tumbling and Numa Passes due to a lightning-ignited wildfire in the Numa Creek valley.

The following Parks Canada video illustrates why the trail was closed and the tactics used to limit the fire’s spread. The Rockwall Trail passes through the head of the valley, and as you watch this dramatic time-lapse sequence, look for Tumbling Pass immediately above the fire on the right.

Fighting Fire with Fire in Kootenay National Park

Numa Creek fire

As a postscript to this sequence, high winds reinvigorated the fire on August 22 and whipped flames to the east side of the valley, significantly expanding its size from around 90 to 400 hectares. The Numa Creek trail and the central section of the Rockwall Trail remained closed for the rest of the hiking season. See Numa Creek Fire Explodes in Kootenay National Park on this blog.