ALBERTA

Sunshine Village Resort In Banff Shuts Down Again As Wildfire Rages On

The resort is closed indefinitely.

07/31/2017 14:19 EDT | Updated 07/31/2017 16:36 EDT

BANFF, Alta. — A resort in Banff National Park will be closed indefinitely as a wildfire burns in the wilderness close to the Alberta-B.C. boundary.

Sunshine Village, a popular ski hill that has summer hiking trails, says it's moving lodge guests and staff to the town of Banff.

Firefighting equipment is being brought to the property as a precautionary measure.

Parks Canada ordered the resort to clear out guests 10 days ago to make room for firefighting crews and heavy machinery to fight the Verdant Creek wildfire a couple of kilometres away.

The resort reopened to guests three days later, but now Sunshine says hot, dry and windy weather has made the fire more active in British Columbia's Mount Assiniboine Provincial Park.

Parks Canada says the fire, covering an estimated 51 square kilometres, is not threatening any communities and has not spread past the Continental Divide into Alberta.

In addition to the Sunshine Village shutdown, Park Canada said some trail and campground closures have been brought back into effect in Banff as the fire flared up along its northern boundary late Sunday afternoon.

Mark Blinch/Reuters
Canoes are seen on a dock on Lake Louise at Banff National Park, in the Canadian Rocky Mountains outside the village of Lake Louise, Alta. in 2014.

Parks Canada had been planning Monday to burn off unconsumed fuel as a means to manage the fire. But the operation in B.C.'s Kootenay National Park was cancelled due to changing weather conditions.

"Warmer temperatures are forecast through the week and will continue to produce increased fire activity. Smoke columns will likely build in the afternoon, followed by settling into valley bottoms in the evening,'' Parks Canada said in a release.

"This pattern is expected to continue while hot, dry conditions persist.''

It warned smoke may reduce visibility along highways in and near Banff and Kootenay national parks.

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