GLACIER NATIONAL PARK – The Boundary Fire which is burning in the remote northeast section of Glacier National Park has burned nearly 1,800 acres.
The blaze, which was detected on Thursday evening, is located in the Boundary Creek drainage, about one mile west of Upper Waterton Lake.
Parks Canada and the National Park Service deployed aerial initial attack resources, but extreme fire behavior and rapid fire growth prevented an air attack on the fire.
Parks Canada and Glacier National Park staff cleared hikers from backcountry areas and evacuated the Waterton River Backcountry Campground on Thursday.
Waterton Lakes National Park and Glacier National Park are closely coordinating efforts and are in constant communication about fire activity and response.
While the fire initially grew very quickly, it moderated on Friday with limited growth on the western fire edge, according to Glacier National Park spokeswoman Lauren Alley.
Glacier National Park has a crew of 24 firefighters working at Goat Haunt to complete preventative structure protection for the 14 buildings. Work at Goat Haunt includes installation of pumps and sprinkler systems.
All trails originating at Goat Haunt are closed at this time. Boat tours operated by Waterton Shoreline Cruise Company continue on Waterton Lake, but cruises are not landing at Goat Haunt at this time.
Parks Canada is installing structure protection at Boundary Bay and Bertha Bay backcountry campgrounds and will bring in additional structural protection resources to the Waterton townsite if required, according to Parks Canada.
After checking all trails and backcountry campgrounds, Parks Canada has closed all backcountry areas in the park. The evacuation alert means that visitors and residents at Waterton Lakes National Park should be prepared to evacuate the park if it is necessary.
Parks Canada reports that while they will give as much advance notice as possible prior to evacuation, the notice may be limited due to changing conditions. Additional information can be obtained by calling (403) 859-5140.
All of Waterton Lakes National Park is closed with the exception of the Waterton Townsite, Highway 5/6 including the entrance road to the townsite and the Chief Mountain Highway.
– Web story by Mark Thorsell