Waterton Lakes National Park reopens to public, but wildfire still active - 1310 NEWS
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Waterton Lakes National Park reopens to public, but wildfire still active

Last Updated Sep 21, 2017 at 5:00 pm EDT

WATERTON, Alta. – Parks Canada has reopened the townsite in Waterton Lakes National Park to the public, but advises that all other areas in the park remain closed.

The powerful fire that shut down the park and forced everyone out almost two weeks ago has been held for several days and remains at about 380 square kilometres.

Residents, business owners and lease holders were allowed to return to the town on Tuesday to clean up ash and debris.

Parks Canada is urging visitors to come with basic supplies as not all businesses may be open.

A trail that loops around the town site is open, as are some picnic and day-use areas, including at Cameron Falls, which is a focal point in the village.

Camping at the in-town campsite is not yet permitted.

Only the Entrance road, Chief Mountain Road and the streets within town are open.

“All other roads and areas in the park remain closed for safety reasons,” Parks Canada said in an update Thursday. “Due to the high intensity of the fire, there are a large number of danger trees, rock falls and other hazards that remain throughout the park.”

A cold front with cooler temperatures and limited precipitation is expected to remain in the area for another day or two. Temperatures are expected to return to the mid-teens on the weekend.

The fire started in British Columbia, but it eventually tore through the park. Fire crews managed to stop it from spreading into town and also saved the iconic 1920s Prince of Wales Hotel standing high on a bluff over the town.

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