07/17/2017 16:17 EDT | Updated 07/17/2017 16:17 EDT

Banff National Park Introduces Backcountry Fire Ban Over 'Elevated' Wildfire Risk

Still open: the gondola and Upper Village.

Parks Canada introduced a backcountry fire ban in Banff National Park Monday, as a wildfire discovered over the weekend continues to grow.

Campground and trail closures have been expanded in Banff National Park and Kootenay National Park as a safety precaution, Parks Canada announced in a bulletin.

The Verdant Creek blaze was first detected on Saturday. Smoke continues to billow over Banff, Alta. skies.

Sunshine Village Webcam
Hazy skies surround the Mt. Standish express at Banff's Sunshine Village on Monday.
Sunshine Village Webcam
A wildfire has filled the sky with smoke in Banff, Alta. This image was taken Monday on Sunshine Village's Rock Isle Lake webcam.
Sunshine Village Webcam
View from Sunshine Village's Goatseye camera on Monday.
Parks Canada/Facebook
Smoke rises from the Verdant Creek wildfire in Kootenay National Park.
Parks Canada/Facebook
Smoke rises from the Verdant Creek fire in Kootenay National Park.

Parks Canada staff have ushered hikers and campers out from the now-closed areas.

Banff National Park closures:

  • All Egypt Lake trails (Healy Pass, Simpson Pass, Whistling Valley, and Pharaoh Creek)

  • Sunshine area trails (Exception: gondola and Upper Village remains open)

Kootenay National Park closures:

  • Honeymoon Pass/Verdant Creek

  • Simpson River Trails

Parks Canada
Expanded Parks Canada closures in Banff National Park and Kootenay National Park as of Monday.

Backcountry camping permits for the area have also been cancelled.

Parks staff are also managing smaller wildfires in Yoho National Park's Emerald Lake and Amiskwi areas. But no closures have been announced yet for those areas.

Wildfires have gripped parts of Western Canada in recent weeks, ravaging several B.C. communities in their path.

High winds and hot and dry weather have been blamed for feeding flames.

One evacuation order was issued for the city of Williams Lake in northern B.C., pushing 11,000 people out of their homes on Saturday.