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Extreme fire danger in Jasper National Park

Parks Canada image Scott Hayes, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter | reporter@fitzhugh.ca The fire danger rating reached the “extreme” level – the highest level on the scale – on the last Friday of July. The advisory came in the middle of Jasper’s most recent heatwave brought on by an extended period of hot, dry weather.  While heavy rains have since drenched much of the national park and most of Alberta ...

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Municipal energy manager looking for efficiencies at local facilities

As the municipal energy manager for both Jasper and Hinton, Faraz Khan has his work cut out for him. Only a few months into this new position, he is undertaking energy scans of multiple facilities before the real work of making efficiencies begins. | Supplied photo Scott Hayes, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter | reporter@fitzhugh.ca As the municipal energy manager for both Jasper and Hinton, Faraz Khan ...

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Online lessons educate public about wildlife

The tiny avatars of Goya Geller and Sam Bennett (lower left) offered huge educational moments during last week’s Wild for Wildlife program, presented as an episode of EPL Presents. | Screenshot image Scott Hayes, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter | reporter@fitzhugh.ca Learning the differences between a fox, a coyote and a wolf was just one facet of Wild for Wildlife, an online video lesson that took pla ...

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Boosting the Bees: Helping pollinators is all the buzz

Charlotte MacFarlane has been planting wildflowers in her gardens and a wild clover mix on her lawn to help make her yard more bee friendly. It has worked, much to her neighbours’ chagrin. | C.MacFarlane photo Scott Hayes, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter | reporter@fitzhugh.ca The bees could use all the help that they can get these days.  Due to decades of pervasive neonicotinoid-based pesticide a ...

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Bring Switzer Park funding back up, open letter pleads

A barbecue that the Friends of Switzer Park put on for the 75th anniversary of Alberta Parks in 2007, with Alberta Parks staff helping out. | D.Swain photo Scott Hayes, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter | reporter@fitzhugh.ca The open letter that Derek Swain wrote to Alberta Environment and Parks Minister Whitney Issik last week was professional and passionate yet clearly had a restrained tone.  Swa ...

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Clearwater wildfire held, cause still under investigation

A view of the Black Mountain wildfire on July 23, a day after it was “captured” by wildland firefighters with the help of 11 helicopters, three heavy equipment groups and three dozer bosses. | Supplied photo Scott Hayes, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter | reporter@fitzhugh.ca The Black Mountain Fire that was discovered on July 19 nearly 20 kilometres west of Nordegg is now being held.  The wildfire ...

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How to safely take wildlife photos

If you see a bear on the side of the road and want to take a photograph, Parks Canada guidelines state that you must stay in your vehicle and keep a safe distance. | R.Gruys photo Scott Hayes, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter | reporter@fitzhugh.ca Mike Gere’s thoughts on watching someone approach a roadside bear for a postcard-perfect photo may not make for family-friendly reading in a community newspa ...

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Clearwater County issues wildfire evacuation order for several areas

A wildfire near Nordegg has prompted an evacuation order for several areas of Clearwater County. | Alberta Wildfire photo Peter Shokeir | editor@fitzhugh.ca An evacuation order has been issued for several parts of Clearwater County due to a wildfire about 19 kilometres west of Nordegg. The fire was 200 hectares on July 20, when the order was first issued, but grew to 366 hectares the following day. Clearwat ...

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Are we still in the frying pan?: Meteorologists and wildfire experts look at correlations and current risks

Fire specialists completed the ignition of the 300 ha main unit of the Henry House prescribed fire in Jasper National Park on May 3. | Parks Canada photo Scott Hayes, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter | reporter@fitzhugh.ca One look at the weather forecast can tell a hot story. According to Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC), Jasper is going to have a lot of sun over the next several days, and ...

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NDP propose new funding model for Alberta Parks if elected

NDP environment critic Marlin Schmidt announced his party’s proposal to allow private donations to Alberta Parks. If the NDP forms the government in 2023, then members of the public can make contributions directly and even purchase parks-themed license plates. | Screenshot photo Scott Hayes, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter | reporter@fitzhugh.ca People who love Alberta Parks will be able to donate to t ...

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