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Chetamon wildfire now being held

A powerline amid the aftermath of the Chetamon wildfire on Sept. 11. | Parks Canada photo

Scott Hayes, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter | reporter@fitzhugh.ca

Overnight rain has helped bring the Chetamon wildfire status to “being held,” according to an announcement from Parks Canada late Thursday morning.

“While the wildfire remains active, firefighting efforts and a cooler forecast have effectively prevented any significant wildfire spread over the last five days,” Parks Canada stated.

“Recent rain is helping, however the amount of rain on the wildfire is variable, especially on the north end.”

The estimated size of the Chetamon wildfire is approximately 6,000 hectares. There are 97 firefighting personnel and five helicopters currently dedicated to fire containment.

Resources are being redeployed from the south end to the more active northern perimeter, targeting remote and rugged spots that didn’t receive the same rainfall that the townsite did starting early Thursday morning.

Soon, new firefighting personnel will arrive to relieve those crews and incident management personnel that have been active since the fire started on Sept. 1.

The wildfire is not anticipated to grow past expected boundaries.

“As the season moves into mid-September, each day is a little shorter, the nights are longer and the temperatures cooler and wetter,” Parks Canada stated.

“The change of seasons will help extinguish smouldering surface fire, and crews can focus on lingering hot spots and areas where fuels are heavier.”

With ATCO having successfully restored regular transmission power and services to Jasper, visitors are now being welcomed with open arms.

Visitor services have returned to full steam, and Whistlers Campground will be open to reservations once again starting on Tuesday, Sept. 20 for bookings until Oct. 10. All remaining front-country campgrounds (including Snaring) are closed for the season.

More information about campgrounds, visitor services and trip planning can be found at www.parkscanada.gc.ca/jasper or by calling Jasper National Park’s information line at 780-852-6176.

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