The Skagit Valley Provincial Park is closed as firefighters battling a 50 hectare fire prepare for strong winds forecast for Friday.
The lightning-caused fire is burning an estimated 1.3 kilometres from the Silvertip Campground and one kilometre from the rural access road leading into the Skagit Valley Provincial Park.
“BC Parks and the BC Wildfire Service are closing the park in response to an anticipated wind event and resulting fire activity,” a statement on BC Parks website reads. “The park will be closed until further notice.”
Silver Skagit Road, the rural access road linking the park to Hope, was closed at the 35-kilometre mark as of noon Thursday, Aug. 9.
The few people camping in the park are being evacuated and offered alternate accommodations.
“There are currently very few people camping in the Skagit Valley; we anticipate available space to accommodate those displaced by the closure at nearby Silver Lake Campsite,” David Karn, spokesperson for the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy, stated in an email.
Campers with reservations in the Skagit are being asked to call the BC Parks call centre (1-800-689-9025) for assistance making new reservations.
Refunds are also being offered for reservations paid for up to and including Sunday, Aug. 12. Refunds beyond this date will depend on whether the park closure is extended past Sunday.
The closure of the park has also led to the cancellation of the popular endurance race Fat Dog 120, whose route runs through three provincial parks along the Cascade Mountain range.
Fire information officer Donna MacPherson cautioned drivers and campers to check DriveBC and the BC Parks websites for up-to-date information about the status of the park closure.
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