Good news about mountain pine beetle in Saskatchewan: There still aren't many

There's some promising news on the mountain pine beetle's presence — or lack thereof — in Saskatchewan.

The insect has destroyed millions of hectares of lodgepole pine in British Columbia and Alberta, and there were worries that it could move further north, where there are a lot of jack pines.

Rory McIntosh, Saskatchewan's forest entomologist and pathologist, says they have found no trace of the dangerous bug in the northwest part of the province for the second straight year.


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.