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0℃ / 32

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  • Tue
    2℃ / 36
  • Wed
    1℃ / 34

Forest fire smoke FAQs

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Visiting Banff and Lake Louise
 

Should I come on my trip to Banff and Lake Louise? 

  • Fires in BC and Alberta are isolated to the backcountry. All of the activities and the vast majority of our trails remain open and ready to welcome visitors. 
  • Due to smoke in the area, conditions change depending on the day. Check with Alberta Roads before travelling to the area to ensure you have the most up-to-date information on road and highway closures.

Will the smoke affect my trip?

  • The heaviest forest fire activity is in BC, with smaller fires in Alberta, but the smoke travels to the Banff and Lake Louise area and changes from day to day.
  • Those with significant lung diseases may want to avoid extended exposure during times of poor air quality. View Environment Canada air quality alerts for Banff National Park here.

Are there any trail or activity closures?  

Are there any road closures? 

  • While the fire is located in the backcountry away from roads, smoke may affect visibility along highways through and adjacent to Banff and Kootenay national parks. 
  • Check ahead on the latest road conditions for Alberta at: https://511.alberta.ca  and for BC at: http://www.drivebc.ca 

What are some great activities to do on a smokey day?  

Camping 
 

Will my campground be open?  

  • The vast majority of frontcountry and backcountry campgrounds are open. 
  • For all of the latest information about closures, please visit Parks Canada's Kootenay Forest Fire Updates Page. 
  • Individuals with backcountry reservations should contact 403-762-1556 (leave a message if needed) or visit a Parks Canada Visitor Centre. 

Is there a fire ban?  

  • There is currently a fire ban in Banff National Park, Kootenay National Park and Yoho National Park. This fire ban covers the entire national park including all frontcountry campground, backcountry campgrounds and day use areas in Banff National Park. 
  • Please note: The fire ban does not mean the campgrounds in Banff National Park are closed. 
  • Keep up with the latest on the fire bans here

Air Quality 
 

How is the air quality?   

  • The air quality is dependant on a number of factors, including wind direction, precipitation, etc. Typically air quality will be best in the morning while daytime temperatures are still cool.
  • Children, the elderly and those with lung disease may experience some difficulty.  
  • The latest statement from Environment Canada can be found here.   

Can you see anything?   

  • Visibility conditions are dependant on a number of factors, including wind direction, precipitation, etc. 
  • Typically visibility will be best early in the morning while daytime temperatures are still cool. For up to date visibility information, visit http://firesmoke.ca/   
  • Our best advice is to be flexible with your plans and you will still be able to have an incredible time. 

General Information 
 

When will the fire be out? 

  • Parks Canada is actively managing any fires located in the national parks, working with BC Parks. It’s impossible to have a definitive timeline. Please keep up to date with the latest info.    

Where can I get more information? 

  • All of the latest updates on the fire can be found here
  • For trip planning help or advice, please visit one of our Visitor Information Centres in Banff, Lake Louise or Field. 
  • You can also reach them online at info@banfflakelouise.com or on Twitter @Banff_Squirrel or by phone at 403.762.8421  

Road trip assistance for RVs:  Banff to Jasper, Banff to BC

  • At this time there are no road closures in Banff National Park, Jasper National Park, Yoho National Park. There are some intermeittent closures of HWY-93S in Kootenay National Park. Please see here for the latest.   
  • The latest Alberta road conditions can be found here: https://511.alberta.ca  
  • The latest BC road conditions can be found here: http://www.drivebc.ca