Beetle battle stepped up

The frontline in Alberta's battle against the pine beetle is being fought in pristine Kananaskis Country as provincial forestry crews dig in for another season to hold back the continuing advance of the marauding pest.

Ted Morton, Alberta's minister of sustainable resource development, took a helicopter tour of the region yesterday as the province prepares its annual regimen of prescribed burns of entire swaths of forest and surgical cutting operations to help stem the impact of the pine beetle.

Morton said with the beetles beginning to emerge from infected trees to continue into Alberta, serious efforts need to be taken so it doesn't have the same impact that devastated B.C.