Mayor concerned pine beetle could increase wildfire risk

Jasper’s mayor is concerned the mountain pine beetle, which is spreading eastward through the park, could increase the community’s wildfire risk.

Mayor Richard Ireland raised his concern during a meeting with Parks Canada on Oct. 16. The mayors of Hinton and Yellowhead County, as well as representatives from the forestry industry, also attended the meeting.

“As the forest turns increasingly red and dead west of us, our primarily concern locally is the safety of the community from wildfire,” said Ireland, who took an aerial tour of the park last week to see the beetle’s impact first hand.