If Jasper’s Chetamon Wildfire increases, traffic and electricity could be affected

The Chetamon wildfire near Jasper, Alta. continues to grow and has now tripled from 400 hectares on Saturday to 1500 hectares on Sunday.

Parks Canada said nearby communities, including the Jasper Town site, are not at risk of evacuation. A power outage is possible, however, as the fire is now just 350 meters from power lines.

A contingency plan is being coordinated and implemented by the City of Jasper, ATCO Electric and Parks Canada “to keep critical infrastructure running in the event of a power outage,” according to a Parks Canada news release Sunday afternoon.

Seven to 10 utility poles are burning, Ellsworth said, and helicopters are dropping water on them. However, she said, “It’s important to remember that ATCO built these poles to withstand wildfires.”

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Hot and dry weather contributes to roaring fires north of Jasper

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People can prepare for a blackout by having backup batteries, safe alternative power sources, and flashlights on hand, Parks Canada advised. An ATCO spokesman said during the conference that they are prepared with backup generators to support critical infrastructure.

Hot and dry weather conditions are contributing to the growing fire, which was sparked by lightning on Thursday.

“The temperatures were over 30 degrees Celsius and the relative humidity was up to 13 degrees with a steady wind of around 10 to 15 kilometers per hour. So this growth rate is not above what would be expected given the fire performance indices we have in the park,” said Katie Ellsworth, a fire safety officer for the national park.

Firefighters on the ground have been removed because it is no longer safe for them to be on the frontlines, Ellsworth said during a media briefing Sunday afternoon.

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“So our current priority is to keep the community of Jasper and its residents safe.”

Traffic is also affected by the fire smoke. 511 Alberta tweeted that visibility along the highway will be reduced. 16 in Jasper on Snaring Road from Sunday afternoon.

Flags and speed restrictions are in place.

Jasper Mayor Richard Ireland, during the same press conference, encouraged Jasper residents and visitors to abide by all closures and continue to provide Parks Canada employees with space to work.

He also encouraged potential visitors to come to Jasper and encouraged those currently in the community to prepare for a possible evacuation, but the Fire is currently unable to take that step.

More updates to come…

–With files from Nicole Stillger, Global News

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

https://globalnews.ca/news/9106035/jasper-chetamon-wildfire-grows-sunday-update/ If Jasper’s Chetamon Wildfire increases, traffic and electricity could be affected


Hung is a Interreviewed U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Hung joined Interreviewed in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing: hung@interreviewed.com.

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