Last week, Jasper and most of Western Canada were under an extreme heatwave, and with heatwaves comes the increased risk of wildfires.
The Municipality of Jasper has put out a few different communications on how residents and visitors can prepare in the event of a wildfire.
“Our main message is to be prepared by completing the evacuation guide and having a plan in place,” said Amanda Stevens, communications officer with the Municipality of Jasper.
The municipality is also encouraging everyone to always have a full tank of gas and an emergency kit packed and ready to go.
Keeping up with the municipal emergency alert and the Alberta Emergency Alerts are also recommended ways to stay up to date and informed during emergency situations.
As far as preventing wildfires, the Municipality of Jasper has worked with Parks Canada for the last several years on a FireSmart program partnership.
This program takes proactive steps to reduce the risk and impact of wildfire on homes and within the Jasper community.
The municipality also participates in FireSmart Day, which happens on the first of May.
During this day, residents are encouraged to clean up around the homes to reduce the amount of combustible debris from their yards and/or balconies.
The residents are also encouraged to FireSmart their homes year-round.
If residents do need assistance with how to properly FireSmart their homes, they can go to the Municipality of Jasper’s website, and the Jasper Fire Department is available to provide home assessments to make sure FireSmarting is done properly.
Community Outreach Services also has an emergency social service worker program.
This program ensures the essential needs of people affected by any emergency, including wildfires, are met, including but not limited to shelter, food and emotional support.
They provide training to all their volunteers and are a huge resource in any emergency situation.
If you are interested in volunteering, go and visit them in person or online.
Effective July 2, fire bans have been in effect for all day-use areas and backcountry campgrounds.
Jasper’s current fire danger level is high.
Take all necessary steps to be prepared for an emergency situation and being up to date with the wildfire status in your area.
Ali Howat, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Jasper Fitzhugh