Jasper National Park is issuing a fire ban.
The ban is effective Thursday, May 11. Parks Canada announced the fire ban in partnership with the Municipality of Jasper.
“The fire ban will help firefighting resources be more readily available where they are needed most and reduce the likelihood of any new human-caused wildfires,” a media statement said.
There are no wildfires burning in Jasper National Park. A team of fire personnel and a helicopter are ready to respond in the event of a wildfire, Parks Canada said.
Jasmine Ramratan, acting superintendent for JNP, said fire bans are based on local fire hazards, current and forecasted weather conditions, the amount of moisture in vegetation, the regional wildfire situation and the availability of responders and equipment.
She said a fire ban was not implemented earlier in Jasper National Park because fire rating conditions didn’t call for it. But now those conditions are changing.
“Our fire rating is low, but over the coming days we expect the risk to increase,” Ramratan said. “We look very carefully at the need for a fire ban in Jasper National Park.”
The Municipality of Jasper’s fire ban comes into effect at 7 a.m. tomorrow (May 11).
This week is Emergency Preparedness Week. An open house at the Emergency Services Building is taking place today from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Food and information will be available.
“Come by to ask questions, pick up an updated Evacuation Guide, sign up for the muniicpal emergency alert system and enjoy a hot dog,” the town said in a statement.
Jasper National Park conducts regular smoke patrols to check for wildfires.
Currently, some Parks Canada national incident management resources are deployed to assist with wildfires in Alberta. Jasper National Park personnel could be included in that deploy, Ramratan said.
Historically, as winter precipitation evaporates and before the forest greens up, this time of year is of higher risk for wildfires.
On Sunday, May 14, Jasper will host a Community-Wide FireSmart Day.
More info on the fire ban and wildfires in Alberta is available at the websites for Jasper National Park, Alberta Wildfire and Alberta Fire Bans.
Bob Covey // email@example.com