Statement from Minister McKenna on Kenow wildfire in Waterton Lakes National Park

Growing wildfire in southwestern Alberta forces new evacuation orders

The blaze has grown from just 12 acres when it was discovered on August 30 to 28,170 acres, or about 44 square miles. The reserve is divided into zones, and zone one - the southernmost zone - is now under evacuation order, while zone three - just north of zone one - has been put on notice. The safety of residents, staff, and fire crews and the protection of infrastructure and the community of Waterton are Parks Canada's priority in responding to the Kenow wildfire.

Parks Canada has also issued a mandatory evacuation order for all areas in Waterton Lakes National Park, including the Waterton Park townsite and all front-country and back-country trails, facilities and areas.

The wildfire has affected the Cameron Valley, the Crandell Mountain area, the Blakiston Valley and grasslands in the north of the park.

According to the last update, Parks Canada's initial release had focused on advances that the fire was making in the southwest corner of the national park.

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Cardston County declared a state of emergency shortly after 1 a.m. MT overnight, saying in an alert to residents, "Fire has left Waterton Park and has entered the County".

Our thoughts and prayers are with the residents, businesses, and staff during this hard time, as well as to the community members of Blood Tribe and municipal district of Pincher Creek and Cardston County who are impacted as this unprecedented fire spreads outside of the national park.

Those who have evacuated are still being asked to register themselves at Vertical Church in Pincher Creek so that authorities can maintain contact.

The park remains closed to all incoming traffic, except emergency vehicles and authorized personnel.

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