Parks Canada is offering a free place of refuge for Northwest Territories and British Columbia evacuees forced from their homes due to wildfires.
Until evacuation orders have been lifted, it will free admission and front-country stays in national parks in British Columbia and Alberta to residents who have been forced to evacuate their communities. These campgrounds are extremely popular and often fully booked. Free stays — which may include roofed accommodation such as oTENTiks — is based on availability of campsites, on a first come first served basis.
Evacuees and visitors should visit the Parks Canada website, download Parks Canada’s mobile app or call the park before traveling.
Thousands of Canadians have been impacted by the unprecedented wildfire season with widespread evacuations, loss of personal property and damage to critical infrastructure.
Wildfire management specialists and other critical service personnel from various jurisdictions across Canada, plus thousands of international resources, have mobilized to support impacted communities, by managing and responding to wildfires, sharing resources and equipment and supporting evacuations.
As of Aug. 23, the Wood Buffalo Complex (of which the majority is burning in the cross-border Wood Buffalo National Park) is approximately 1.1 million acres in size and is classified as Out of Control. At its closest, it is about 2.4 miles south of Fort Smith, Northwest Territories, and slightly closer to the first structure in Fort Fitzgerald, Alberta. A total of 308 personnel, 57 pieces of heavy equipment and 24 helicopters remain in Fort Smith to conduct fire suppression efforts.
In the Northwest Territories, Thaidene Nene National Park Reserve, Nahanni National Park Reserve and Nááts’įhch’oh National Park Reserve are closed to all new visitation. All visitor services are closed in Wood Buffalo National Park.
In Alberta, lighting or maintaining fires and smoking (including cigarettes, pipes and cannabis) is prohibited in Mount Revelstoke National Park and Glacier National Park until further notice. A fire ban is in effect for Yoho National Park and Kootenay National Park until further notice.