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Fire guard near Alberta-B.C. boundary to protect Lake Louise and Field

A fire guard is being built near Ross Lake in B.C.'s Yoho National Park, Parks Canada says. Once its done, it will help protect Lake Louise and Field. (Supplied) A fire guard is being built near Ross Lake in B.C.'s Yoho National Park, Parks Canada says. Once its done, it will help protect Lake Louise and Field. (Supplied)
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Work has begun on a critical piece of infrastructure designed to protect two mountain communities from wildfires.

Parks Canada says the 49-hectare Ross Lake fire guard in B.C.'s Yoho National Park is being built next to Highway 1, north of Ross Lake.

"Once finished, the Ross Lake fire guard will create a landscape-level forest fuel break which will reduce the risk of wildfire to the communities of Lake Louise (Alta.), Field (B.C.), and surrounding areas," officials said in a statement.

"This project will improve safety for park visitors and residents while creating high-quality habitat for local species."

The work includes the construction of temporary roads that will allow machines to get into the area to remove trees.

During the project, drivers heading through the area should expect noise and truck activity near the Lake O'Hara exit.

There could also be wood and debris piled up near the site and those in the area should also expect to see smoke.

"Every effort will be made to limit smoke during pile burning operations, however, unpredicted changes in weather can increase and/or redirect smoke. Although unlikely, motorists should be prepared for potential delays and reduced visibility on sections of BC Highway 1 while burning is taking place," Parks Canada said.

The creation of the fire guard will help to clear out dense areas of forest that have built up over years of fire suppression in the area, officials said.

Those areas have proven to lead to intense wildfires that can spread quickly across the landscape.

Work on the fire guard is expected to be complete by late March 2024.

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