Wind topples healthy-looking trees in park damaged in Fort McMurray fire

The park was evacuated last Wednesday after gusts of about 60 km/h

A provincial park in northeastern Alberta is closing early for the season after wind toppled more than 100 seemingly healthy trees.

Gregoire Lake was badly burned in the ferocious 2016 wildfire that destroyed thousands of homes in the nearby city of Fort McMurray.

The province says wet conditions this summer combined with fire-damaged soils caused the trees to fall, even in moderate winds.

The park was evacuated last Wednesday after gusts of about 60 km/h caused more than 20 healthy-looking trees to fall across an access road.

Another 100 trees were downed elsewhere in the park, which has campsites and a beach.

Alberta Environment and Parks says that after the fire, the focus was on clearing dead and damaged trees rather than ones that seemed to be in good shape.

The department says areas previously considered safe must now be thoroughly evaluated.

Gregoire Lake is normally open until Thanksgiving.

“We are looking at all options to ensure that we can offer a safe and reliable service to park users,” said Environment and Parks minister Jason Nixon.

“Although our decision to close the park will affect camping opportunities for the last few weeks of summer, our top priority is always the safety of Albertans.”

The Canadian Press

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

County council approves “challenging budget”

Provincial government cuts affect County’s revenue sources

Stettler’s Big Brothers Big Sisters has plenty of events lined up for the first part of 2020

January is Mentoring Month across Canada and throughout North America

The Stettler ATOM female team will be having a Hockey Fights Hunger Food Drive Feb. 8th

Drop off locations will include Canadian Tire, No Frills and Sobeys from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Cattle Show set to return to Stettler Jan. 31st and Feb. 1st

“Stettler, historically, has been a very strong cattle community. It was a real hub for the cattle industry.”

Archie Lunevich presents a $30,000 cheque to Leona Thorogood, chair of Stettler Health Services Foundation

The funds will be used to purchase equipment for the upcoming renovated ER department at the hospital

VIDEO: Trudeau insists Iran respect families’ wishes when it comes to burials

All 176 people on board the Ukraine International Airlines flight PS752 were killed

Harry and Meghan should cover their own security costs: NDP heritage critic

The prince, Meghan Markle and their eight-month-old son Archie are reportedly staying at a mansion near Victoria

Alberta premier wants federal government to do more about opioid imports

Jason Kenney says Canada should find ways to cut down on drugs being smuggled into the country

Alberta Energy Regulator laying off staff, restructures, deals with budget cuts

Gordon Lambert, interim CEO, says the changes are part of a restructuring

Energy companies owe more than double the tax to Alberta municipalities

Survey says communities are owed $173 million — up 114% since last spring

No gondola from Banff to Mount Norquay, feds say

Parks Canada dismisses proposal for gondola, Grizzly Pavilion and boardwalks

U.S. officials confirm first case of Wuhan coronavirus near Seattle

The U.S. is the fifth country to report seeing the illness

Nine times lucky? Alberta’s Northern Cree takes another shot at Grammy gold

The group originates from the Saddle Lake Cree Nation in northern Alberta

Most Read