Province to burn pine beetles

The province’s direct assault on pine beetles could get underway today, if weather permits.

The province’s direct assault on pine beetles could get underway today, if weather permits.

A controlled fire that would consume from 60 to 80 per cent of trees within an 8,000 hectare area near Hwy 11 and the Banff Park border could be set today by Alberta Sustainable Resource workers as long as winds remain low and no storms move in.

Motorists are being warned that they could experience reduced visibility along Hwy 11, west of Nordegg, when the prescribed burn takes place.

A 20-km section, from Saskatchewan River Crossing in Banff National Park, to Whirlpool Point, west of Siffleur Falls, is slated to go up in smoke this spring and summer.

Maria Sharpe, fire information officer for Alberta Sustainable Resources, said there are two reasons for this; to limit the spread of the mountain pine beetles, which are starting to decimate Alberta forests; and to reduce the threat of a large-scale wildfire by removing older, drier trees.

For more information about the prescribed fire, call 1-866-916-INFO.

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