Castle Parks / Forest Closure Information

Castle Parks / Forest Closure Information

13/09/2017 2:30 PM update –

As you all know…or if you didn’t now you know, Castle Mountain Resort was evacuated yesterday morning as a precaution under the direction of the MD of Pincher Creek.  They closed the gates at roughly 8am turning away people trying to get to the resort, including resort employees and management.  We had several people already onsite to start their work day, plus our community residents who live here the evacuation notice was put out.  We assisted in getting people evacuated and our office staff were able to secure servers and valuables so they could be transferred off site, while maintenance crews secured property around the resort.  Yesterday went very calm and orderly.  We had meetings to prepare for this however to say we were not caught off guard by how quickly the evacuation was called would be a lie.  We want to thank the fire crews including Pincher Creek Fire Department who have been setting up and working sprinkler lines around our community for the past few weeks to help protect our community resident homes and our resort property.  Also the hard work the MD and the Unified Command, all of the first responders and fire crews who have been working tirelessly over the past couple weeks in preparation and during this situation.  Thank you.  The Castle Mountain Community Association has also been doing a fantastic job at communicating and working with residents to ensure their property is safe and secure, and information has been flowing very timely on their Facebook Page.  Our staff that have been displaced are all staying with friends and coworkers at this time.

Late last night our IT guys were able to get our server up and running off-site which means we have email access again.  We are having some phone issues, so email is the best way to get in touch with us at this time.  Hopefully we will have the phones sorted out shortly, but please understand we are doing this all remotely as we are not permitted on-site.  Unfortunately, our webcams route through our server and we didn’t have time to reroute them before the evacuation.

The Kenow fire, which is not being referred to as the “Castle Branch Fire” with regards to it’s proximity to the Castle region, is currently burning on the NE/West sides Sage Mountain and in the South Castle Valley.  It is presently 23kms away from Castle Mountain Resort and 30kms from Beaver Mines.  Overnight it did not grow in size and fire crews are working on it with heavy equipment building fire lines, medium and heavy helicopters, as well as water bombers when conditions permit.  The resort is not in immediate danger at this time.

We thank everyone for thinking of us, working together and helping out our friends and neighbors in the surrounding communities.  Our hearts go out to our friends in Waterton Lakes National Park, the MD of Pincher Creek, Blood Tribe, and Cardston County who have been affected by this beast of a wildfire.  While we are not out of the woods yet…it has not broken our strong South Western Albertan resolve.  Hats off to you all!

We will provide updates when this situation changes.

Think Rain and Snow!

 

06/09/2017 5:00 PM update –

Not much news is good news, as far as an update on the fire in the BC Provincial Park of Akamina-Kishinena. Word from Wildfire AB is that the fire is still mostly contained on the British Columbian side of the Continental Divide near Font Mountain; approximately 20 km away from the base area of Castle Mountain Resort. Crews are working hard to keep things this way and a number of firefighting resources have been positioned in our area.

While winds have been light over the past few days, conditions have been very smoky at Castle Mountain Resort. Winds are expected to remain favorable with respect to the fighting of the fire through to Friday midday, when they’re expected to increase from the SW. This will increase the chances of the fire crossing the divide into Alberta, although SW winds do not push the fire directly our way. Whichever way the winds blow, an increase in fire activity is expected into the weekend. Hot and continued dry conditions are certainly not helping.

Fire preparedness continues to take place at Castle with emergency services working to set up a perimeter featuring a number of sprinklers. Residents are asked to please be cognizant of emergency personnel in the area and avoid areas where hoses and sprinklers are set.

Residents and staff are reminded of permitting requirements laid out in our previous update. Access to Castle Mountain Resort and the Castle Provincial Parks is limited to those with a permit only.

 

 

04/09/2017 3:00 PM update –

Early this afternoon Castle Mountain Resort management and staff met with officials from Wildfire AB, the Department of Environment and Parks, as well as officials from the Department of Agriculture and Forestry for the province of Alberta.

This morning a closure of the Castle Provincial Park and Wildland Park was made official (click for advisory link). Record dry conditions, the relatively close proximity of the wildfire burning near the border of Waterton Lakes National Park, Castle Wildland Provincial Park, and within in the BC Provincial Park of Akamina-Kishinena, necessitated this closure as a way to mitigate additional risk to the public. It is estimated that the fire is still near 20 km’s away from Castle Mountain Resort and a full-scale evacuation is NOT being considered at this time.

The Castle Parks closure and forestry protection area (zones 1-3) area closure has implications for residents and potential guests of Castle Mountain Resort:

 

Guests

  • Guest access is not permitted to Castle Mountain Resort at this time. No guest permits will be issued by Alberta Agriculture & Forestry staff.
  • All hiking trails / recreational activities at Castle Mountain Resort area are now closed.
  • Alberta Agriculture & Forestry (AAF), in conjunction with Alberta Environment & Parks (AEP) will begin controlling access to Castle Mtn. / Castle Parks region immediately, at the entrance of the Castle Provincial Park via HWY-774 (past Beaver Mines) and via Lynx Creek access points. These access points will be staffed 24/7.

 

Residents (whose primary residence IS Castle Mountain Resort)

  • Those who make Castle Mountain Resort their primary home will be permitted access to their homes (by permit only). Overnight stays permitted, no hour of travel restrictions.
  • Residents must proceed directly to their home once passing through AAF / AEP access points
  • All hiking trails / recreational activities at Castle Mountain Resort are closed to residents
  • Residents must apply for a permit, in person, at either Pincher Creek Emergency Services (655 Charlotte St., Pincher Creek, AB) or the Blairmore (11901 19 Ave., Blairmore, AB) Ranger Station. Hours are anticipated to be 8 AM to 8 PM daily (starting Tuesday, Sept 05)
  • Proof of primary residency will be required (as indicated on your license, utility bill, letter from landlord)

 

Residents (whose primary residence is NOT Castle Mountain Resort)

  • Property owners or residents whose primary residence is NOT Castle Mountain Resort will be granted limited access (by permit only)
  • Access will be limited to a 5 consecutive hour stay, once per 72 hour period. Overnight stays will not be permitted. Access will only be permitted between the hours of 8 AM and 8 PM
  • Residents must proceed directly to their home once passing through AAF / AEP access points
  • All hiking trails / recreational activities at Castle Mountain Resort are closed to residents
  • Residents must apply for a permit, in person, at either Pincher Creek Emergency Services (655 Charlotte St., Pincher Creek, AB) or the Blairmore  Ranger Station  (11901 19 Ave., Blairmore, AB). Hours are anticipated to be 8 AM to 8 PM daily (starting Tuesday, Sept 05).

 

Essential Staff

  • Essential (currently employed) staff will be permitted access to the resort to maintain basic resort functions and essential, AEP approved maintenance activities.
  • Resort Management will contact staff directly on permitting requirements

 

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1 Comment
  1. John Morgan September 13 at 5:34PM - Reply

    Thank you so much for the update

    I’m in Edmonton and Castle I call home base very cherished and loved, as well as the people
    I hope all is well

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