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Highway in Alberta could get smoky, but Parks Canada says closing it is a last resort

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The Chetamon wildfire is seen burning beside Mount Greenock, left, in Jasper National Park in a Sept. 7, 2022, handout photo. Jasper National Park has already advised people not to visit due to power outages caused by the Chetamon Mountain blaze that have disrupted services within the park, including the Jasper townsite. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Parks Canada, *MANDATORY CREDIT*

EDMONTON — Parks Canada is warning that strong winds forecast for this weekend could blow smoke from a large wildfire across a major highway linking Alberta and British Columbia.

Jasper National Park has already advised people not to visit due to power outages caused by the Chetamon Mountain blaze that have disrupted services within the park, including the Jasper townsite.

In an update on the fire Saturday, Parks Canada says increased smoke may reduce visibility on Highway 16. 

It says Parks Canada and the RCMP are prepared to use traffic control on Highway 16 if needed, but a highway closure is the last resort.

The lightning-sparked blaze has burned on a steep and inaccessible mountain slope, approximately 20 kilometres north of the Jasper townsite, since Sept. 1.

No communities are threatened.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 10, 2022.

The Canadian Press