Wind remains on firefighters side in bout with northern Alberta wildfire

first_imgHIGH LEVEL, Alta. — Despite heavy smoke, officials say a lighter wind out of the northeast has allowed for great progress on reining in a wildfire that’s forced thousands of people from their homes in northern Alberta.Authorities say the Chuckegg Creek fire remains out of control as it churns about three kilometres south of High Level, but favourable weather on Tuesday allowed crews to protect power poles west and south of the community.The blaze has eaten its way through about 800 square kilometres of timber, with the main area of spread on the northwest side away from town.Officials say crews using heavy equipment are making progress on a fire guard around High Level and parts of the fire perimeter.Nearly 5,000 people were cleared out of High Level and nearby First Nations on the long weekend when flames were licking at the southern edge of the town, about 750 kilometres northwest of Edmonton.The fire has been rated at a Level 6 — the most intense rating on the scale — which means flames are jumping from treetop to treetop in the tinder dry region.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

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Clock ticking for solution to BC rock slide blocking salmon experts

first_imgCLINTON, B.C. — Experts say a rock slide that created a five-metre waterfall on the Fraser River is a significant problem that could spell disaster for British Columbia’s threatened salmon populations.The Department of Fisheries and Oceans says the waterfall is blocking most chinook salmon in the river from migrating upstream to spawn, and a number of other populations are expected later in the summer.Aaron Hill, executive director of Watershed Watch Salmon Society, says several of the populations that use the river are already in peril and their numbers would severely decline if they are unable to spawn.He notes the obstruction near Big Bar, northwest of Kamloops near Clinton in the Interior, is fairly low down on the long and winding river so it’s affecting a large part of the Fraser watershed and major tributaries.Vincent Bryan, an innovator behind a possible solution known as the ‘salmon cannon,’ says the problem is urgent because fish will start arriving en masse in August and by the middle of that month there will be a million or more sockeye backed up.Bryan’s company, Whooshh Innovations, has created a flexible, pressurized tube that moves fish over obstructions and he’s been at the rock slide site assessing how the system could work there.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

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