UPDATE: Highway 93 closed in Kootenay National Park to Banff

The Verdant Creek wildfire is burning an estimated 4,833 hectares in size

UPDATE: Highway 93 is closed in both directions from Radium Hot Springs to to Junction with Highway 1, due to forest fires in the area.

DriveBC said there will be no estimate for re-opening, and the assessment is ongoing.

The highway has been closed on and off this week as wildfire smoke made for dangerous driving conditions.

Parks incident commander Jane Park said the smoke was extremely dense in some areas Thursday.

“The visibility is definitely under 100 metres, some places probably under 50 metres,” she said earlier in the day.

The Verdant Creek wildfire burning just west of the Alberta-B.C. boundary has shuttered B.C.’s Mount Assiniboine Provincial Park and closed parts of Banff and Kootenay national parks.

The fire is an estimated 4,833 hectares in size, according to the BC Wildfire Service.

Sunshine Village resort in Banff is currently closed to visitors.

Parks Canada ordered the resort to clear out guests nearly two weeks ago to make room for firefighting crews and heavy machinery to fight the Verdant Creek wildfire a couple of kilometres away.

Verdant Creek Wildfire – July 31st 2017

This video is a timelapse of the Verdant Creek Fire captured over the night of July 31st. Parks Canada is at Banff Sunshine Village, and they are working to contain the fire. Banff is not threatened.

Although we're closed, there are still lots to do and enjoy in Banff this long weekend.

Posted by Banff Sunshine Village on Friday, August 4, 2017

The resort reopened to guests three days later, but Sunshine Village said on Monday that hot, dry and windy weather was making the fire more active in Mount Assiniboine Provincial Park.

Park said starting Thursday, firefighters would once again be working out of Sunshine Village, where it is less smoky than the area of Kootenay National Park where they are currently based.

There are about 60 firefighters and 10 helicopters battling the fire, but Park said she is expecting that to increase in the coming days.

The Canadian Press

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