07/11/2014 12:37 EDT | Updated 09/10/2014 05:59 EDT

Alberta Restricting Backcountry Access Due To Wildfire

Daniel J Cox via Getty Images
NORDEGG, Alta. - Alberta Environment is closing parts of the backcountry near Rocky Mountain House because of a wildfire.

Officials say the fire is burning west of Nordegg near the boundary of Banff National Park and has grown to nearly 56 square kilometres in size.

The wildfire hazard level in the area is extreme and it is very smoky.

Public access to the forest is being restricted from the mountains south of Highway 11, north to Cline River and east from the park boundary to White Rabbit Creek.

To the northwest in B.C., a fast-moving wildfire has forced about 200 oil-and-gas workers out of work camps near Tumbler Ridge.

That fire was sparked by a lightning strike on Sunday and is also about 50 square kilometres in size.

Meanwhile, a wildfire burning out of control near Red Earth, Alta., which is north of Slave Lake, is expected to grow past the current 3,178 hectares, given a forecast for a dry and hot weekend.

One hundred firefighters and nine helicopters are battling that blaze, which is threatening a gas plant and a wildfire observation tower in the area. Both facilities have been evacuated.

(CKGY, The Canadian Press)

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