Parks Canada supports wildfire evacuees with free admission and stays in national parks in British Columbia and Alberta

News release

Wildfire evacuees welcome to access national parks and stay free of charge

August 23, 2023                          Gatineau, Quebec                            Parks Canada

Canada continues to experience an unprecedented wildfire season with thousands of Canadians being impacted with widespread evacuations, loss of personal property, and damage to critical infrastructure.

As all levels of government work together to respond to the ongoing wildfire situation, wildfire management specialists and other critical service personnel from various jurisdictions across Canada, in addition to thousands of international resources, have mobilized to support impacted communities, by managing and responding to wildfires, sharing resources and equipment, and supporting evacuations.

To support evacuees, Parks Canada continues to offer free admission and front-country stays in national parks in British Columbia and Alberta to residents who have been forced to evacuate their communities in the Northwest Territories and British Columbia, until evacuation orders have been lifted. As is well known, Parks Canada campgrounds in British Columbia and Alberta are extremely popular and often fully booked. Free stays, which may include Parks Canada roofed accommodation in some places (such as oTENTiks), is based on availability of campsites, on a first come first served basis.

Evacuees and visitors to national parks are encouraged to visit the Parks Canada website, download Parks Canada’s mobile app or directly call the national park before traveling. 



“The Government of Canada will continue to support evacuees and communities during these challenging times. My thoughts go out to all those who have been impacted by these devastating wildfires.”

The Honourable Steven Guilbeault
Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada

“Parks Canada is pleased to offer a place of refuge for Northwest Territories and British Columbia evacuees forced from their homes. I would also like to extend my profound gratitude and appreciation to all wildfire management specialists and other team members who have been deployed to help manage wildfires across Canada during this unprecedented wildfire season.”

Ron Hallman
President and CEO, Parks Canada

Quick facts

  • As of August 23, 2023, the Wood Buffalo Complex (of which the majority is burning in Wood Buffalo National Park) is approximately 453,012 hectares in size and is classified as Out of Control. At its closest, it is approximately 4km south of the Town of Fort Smith, Northwest Territories, and 3.5km from the first structure in the Town of Fort Fitzgerald, Alberta. Collectively, a total of 308 personnel, 57 pieces of heavy equipment and 24 helicopters remain in Fort Smith to conduct fire suppression efforts.

  • Thaidene Nene, Nahanni, and Nááts'įhch'oh National Park Reserves are closed to all new visitation and all visitor services are closed in Wood Buffalo National Park.

  • Lighting or maintaining fires and smoking (including cigarettes, pipes, and cannabis) is strictly prohibited in Mount Revelstoke and Glacier National Parks until further notice. A fire ban is in effect for Yoho and Kootenay National Parks until further notice.

Associated links


Kaitlin Power
Press Secretary     
Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Media Relations
Parks Canada

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