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

‘Manny’s Motel’ badly damaged by fire Jan. 15

Police say 40 Ave. closed due to fire, use alternate route

From courthouse to council’s house

Old courthouse had long history before becoming City Hall

Revenue Canada, RCMP don’t accept Bitcoin: police

RCMP issue Bitcoin warning posters

Writer says Alberta highway system falling apart

Highways in ‘deplorable’ condition: writer

County council denies request for parking lot

Buck Lake groups are welcome to raise funds and return to council

Canada to bolster screening of central China passengers for virus at 3 airports

Additional measures will include messaging on arrivals screens in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver

PHOTOS: Eastern Newfoundland reeling, search underway for missing man after blizzard

More than 70 centimetres of new snow fell overnight, creating whiteout conditions

Prince Harry, Meghan to give up ‘royal highness’ titles

‘Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved members of my family,’ says Queen Elizabeth II

RCMP Major Crimes Unit lays charges in Stettler death

Nicholas Climb Johnson, 32, of Stettler is charged with second degree murder in the death of his father

Metis nations ask Ottawa to negotiate directly with them, not national body

Three provincial Metis nations will work through the national council until after the federal government releases its 2020 budget

Canada to give $25,000 to families of each Canadian who died in Iran plane crash

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also made it clear that Canada still expects Iran to compensate victims

Oil and gas industry applauds top court’s dismissal of B.C.’s Trans Mountain case

The high court’s ruling Thursday removes one of the remaining obstacles for the project

Sylvan Lake RCMP seek assistance in locating missing male

Mark Crier, 17, was last seen in Sylvan Lake on Jan. 13

UPDATE: Supreme Court dismisses B.C.’s appeal in Trans Mountain pipeline case

Judges decide whether B.C.’s power to protect environment can include impeding a federal project

Most Read