Fire crews tackling steep terrain to get upper hand on Chetamon wildfire

Parks Canada fire crews continued to gain the upper hand on the Chetamon wildfire near Jasper, Alta. on Friday.

But their efforts have been derailed yet again by recreational drones.

Parks Canada said they were forced to ground operations for over an hour twice in the past week.

Read more:

Jasper faces more than $10M loss in revenue due to Chetamon wildfire

It said flying drones during fire operations endangers the lives and well-being of pilots and firefighters both in the air and on the ground. In addition, when aircraft is grounded for any length of time, it causes unnecessary delays in firefighting efforts.

Since the wildfire broke out Sept. 1, four drone-related incidents have resulted in charges, which carry a  maximum fine of $25,000.

Crews have begun working on the northwestern flank of the fire — very steep terrain that Parks Canada says requires “skill, endurance and focus to navigate.” Once a line is established, they will begin hauling and connecting hose up and down the mountainside and work to extinguish hot spots in the area.

The Chetamon wildfire remains at approximately 6,000 hectares. As of Friday, Parks Canada has 80 firefighting personnel and three helicopters on scene.

Read more:

Chetamon wildfire near Jasper ‘being held’

Crews warn sunny conditions and double-digit temperatures could mean an increase in smoky conditions and people with respiratory problems may be affected.

The fire, which was sparked by lightning, damaged power lines and caused a power outage to Jasper for a couple of weeks. After being on intermittent generator power, ATCO was able to restore the transmission power system on Sept. 15.

There continues to be no risk to communities at this time.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

You May Also Like

Top Stories