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Power Restored at Jasper, Wildfire Still Active

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After depending on backup generators for over a week, power was restored to the municipality of Jasper (Alberta, Canada) on Wednesday.

Photo courtesy of Parks Canada

As per a report, ATCO Electric has been working to fix power transmission lines damaged by the Chetamon wildfire. On Tuesday, they announced they would start phasing the town off the generator system and back to the transmission system.

The wildfire, still in full swing and growing at 6,000 hectares, first destroyed the power lines that service Jasper on Sunday, September 4. The fire started on Thursday, September 1. 

“The estimated size of the Chetamon wildfire is approximately 6000 hectares. The wildfire remains active, with smoldering and creeping surface fire around the perimeter. It is not unusual for individual trees to burn or to see visible flames or spot fires from long distances. Parks Canada has 96 firefighting personnel and five helicopters dedicated to containing the Chetamon wildfire,” Parks Canada’s website post reads. 

Officials estimated that repairs would take weeks to complete. However, ATCO stated that it had gathered all resources needed to ensure that the power would be back Wednesday morning.

“Our crews have been working relentlessly around the clock to restore power as quickly as possible to the town of Jasper,” ATCO spokesperson Jenny Le said in a statement.

“Power has been stable, and we are working on a phased approach to turn on the outlying communities. We continue to monitor the system and have the temporary generation system in place as backup.”

As potential visitors were urged to reconsider their plans, Jasper Mayor Richard Ireland said  Wednesday that all visitors are welcome to return to the town in the Rocky Mountains. 

Parks Canada is working to bring back front-country camping as soon as possible, said liaison officer Jasmine Ramratan. Whistlers campground will open reservations, and the campsite will be available until October 10.

“All remaining front-country campgrounds are closed for the season,” she said.

According to a Modern Campground report, Park officials said no communities are at risk from the wildfire that was caused by lightning.

This story originally appeared on Global News. Featured image from Parks Canada

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