Headed west of Calgary this weekend? Here’s what you need to know

CALGARY — Wildfires continue to rage in British Columbia, putting the province under a state of emergency, meaning Calgarians headed west this weekend will encounter smoke, fire bans and potential warnings.

A fire ban is in place in the Town of Banff and Banff National Park, with campfires and charcoal barbecues not allowed, but propane or gas fuel heat sources are exempt.

Violators could face hefty fines of $500 in the town site, which goes up to $25,000 in the park.

Further west, there are 275 wildfires burning across B.C., costing the province an estimate $196 million so far in what could potentially become the most expensive fire season in the province’s history.

Alberta is sending support with 350 Edmonton soldiers headed to the Vernon, B.C. area, in the province’s Interior region.

Firefighters from Mexico are also on the way to B.C.

Some popular destinations for Albertans are experiencing fires; a blaze at the shore of Mara Lake was threatening the town of Sicamous, B.C., but now appears flames are moving away from the town.

Select regions near Shuswap Lake are also under evacuation order.

In Alberta, the majority of fires burning are in the north and none are considered out of control, but officials say the risk here in the southwest continues to be very high.

The City of Calgary has lifted its fire ban.

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