Parks Canada firefighters were already hard at work battling a small forest fire on Thursday morning.
Details are still developing, but it appears that a lightning strike from an unexpected thunderstorm on Wednesday evening is the culprit.
“There is no immediate danger to the Municipality of Jasper, residents and visitors. Parks Canada will provide additional information as it becomes available,” read a statement from Jasper National Park as posted to its Facebook page just after 10 a.m. on Thursday.
The wildfire is east of Snaring River on Mount Chetamon, according to Kendra Neef, who posted photos and video on her own social media pages.
According to Environment and Climate Change Canada’s lightning activity statistics page, the average number of cloud-to-ground lightning flashes annually in Canada is more than 2.25 million with July being the month with the highest number out of the year.
“The most frequent time of day for lightning is between 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. local time for the majority of Canada,” the page reads, adding that nocturnal lightning can account for almost half of all lightning in some areas of the country. Jasper National Park is in an area that experiences 25 per cent.
This story is developing and will be updated as more information comes in.
Scott Hayes, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Jasper Fitzhugh