Smoke haze from forest fires burning in Alberta and British Columbia hangs over Banff, Alta., in Banff National Park, Friday, July 21, 2017. A fire ban is now in place in three mountain parks in Alberta and British Columbia due to a high risk of wildfires in the area. A notice posted on the Banff National Park website says the ban, which also includes Yoho and Kootenay national parks in B.C., was issued to ensure the safety of residents and visitors. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

Smoke haze from forest fires burning in Alberta and British Columbia hangs over Banff, Alta., in Banff National Park, Friday, July 21, 2017. A fire ban is now in place in three mountain parks in Alberta and British Columbia due to a high risk of wildfires in the area. A notice posted on the Banff National Park website says the ban, which also includes Yoho and Kootenay national parks in B.C., was issued to ensure the safety of residents and visitors. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

Banff, Yoho and Kootenay national parks under a fire ban due to high risk of wildfire

Ban in place for safety of visitors and protection of infrastructure in the three national parks

A fire ban is now in place in three mountain parks in Alberta and British Columbia due to a high risk of wildfires in the area.

A notice posted on the Banff National Park website says the ban, which also includes Yoho and Kootenay national parks in B.C., was issued Friday to ensure the safety of residents and visitors.

It says it’s also for the protection of infrastructure in the three national parks.

Banff, Yoho and Kootenay national parks share boundaries in the Rocky Mountains.

The notice says burning fires illegally in a national park can lead to a fine of up to $25,000.

Provincial fire bans and restrictions are also in place across southern Alberta, including in the city of Lethbridge’s river valley and in the town of Three Hills due to limited water supply.

The bans come as unpredictable fire behaviour in B.C. has forced the evacuation of the entire community of Olalla and an evacuation alert for the village of Keremeos.

The blaze is one of 146 that have been reported to the BC Wildfire Service in the past week.

Environment Canada is forecasting temperatures in the 30s in B.C. in the coming week and gusty winds could complicate firefighting efforts, but there’s been no sign so far of the lightning storms that have started many recent wildfires.

The plus-30 temperatures are also expected to hit southern Alberta next week.

– The Canadian Press

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