Jasper National Park News

Project to reduce fire hazard in Jasper National

Parks Canada photo
Parks Canada photo

Parks Canada is moving forward with a mechanical thinning project to reduce fire hazard in the forested lands lying upwind of the Municipality of Jasper.

Crews and equipment will selectively remove the hazardous accumulation of dead lodgepole pine trees and mountain pine beetle affected trees west of the townsite, while protecting Douglas fir, deciduous trees such as aspen, and riparian (wetland) areas.

Work will continue until April 15, 2018, as long as the ground remains frozen. The remainder of the project area will be completed between November 2018 and April 2019.

Possible trail closures and traffic disruptions 

The project area is located on the bench lands west of the Jasper townsite known as Pyramid Bench. To see a map of the project area, visit our website at pc.gc.ca/jasperfireupdate. We will update this web page with more details about specific work areas and trail closures as work progresses.

To ensure the safety of the public, there may be temporary trail closures and traffic disruptions while work is underway. Signage will be in place and information available through the Information Centre. Please refer to the Trail Condition Report web page for active closures.

Why mechanical thinning?

We use mechanical thinning to improve community wildfire protection and remove mountain pine beetle habitat when conditions for prescribed burning do not appear. Mechanical thinning also helps us to create conditions for less complex, safer, and more efficient prescribed fires in the future.

The area we are thinning on Pyramid Bench connects to FireSmart treated areas around the townsite, which will create a much larger protected area to the west of the community. FireSmart and forest thinning near communities limits fire intensity, reduces the potential for spot fires from windblown embers, and improves the effectiveness of fire suppression techniques.

For more information about the fire management program, prescribed fire, and FireSmart, please visit pc.gc.ca/jasperfireupdate