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Chetamon Wildfire Prompts Closure of Jasper National Park Campgrounds

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Jasper National Park has temporarily shut down Whistlers and Wapiti campgrounds due to the continuing power issues arising from the Chetamon wildfire.

As per a report, Jasper National Park said Tuesday morning that the primary goal at present is to focus on restoring all the essential services to the Jasper community. 

Campers who are currently staying at the campgrounds are ordered to leave by 11. a.m. Wednesday. The sanitary dump site will be closed around 9:00 p.m. Tuesday.

The closures of the campground are in addition to the closure of the Wabasso campground on Monday. Jasper National Park said existing backup power systems in these campgrounds were not designed to supply power for longer periods of time.

The emergency power system in these campgrounds only provides potable water and sewer for campers and is not sustainable in the long run.

Temporary campsite closures are in place until September 11, park officials said. 

Power was out in majority of the Jasper townsite on Tuesday morning. ATCO was able to switch crucial infrastructure sites to generators on Monday, which included the fire hall, hospital, municipal emergency crisis center, and waste and water treatment facilities, and the Jasper Activity Centre where stations are set up to allow people to charge their phones as well as other important devices.

Overnight rain and cooler temperatures on Monday helped firefighters and helicopters access two priority areas of the Chetamon wildfire.

Firefighters were able to lay out sprinklers and hoses in key areas on the south side of the fire, while air crews made progress bucketing on the north side of the fire.

The wildfire is about 6,150 hectares in size.

Although cooler temperatures have helped the fire crews, officials from Jasper National Park said without more rain, the fire will progressively become more intense in the coming days.

Park officials said no communities are at risk from the wildfire that was caused by lightning. Visitors are, however, urged to reconsider travel plans to the area due to the challenges caused by the wildfire.

This story originally appeared on Global News.

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