Home / Travel Guides - Jasper National Park / Fire On The Mountain: The Syncline Ridge Fire

More About
Jasper National Park, AB

Fire on the Mountain: The Syncline Ridge Fire As you drive through the east gate of Jasper National Park and head toward Talbot Lake, the lush alpine forest gives way to a brown, charred landscape spotted with fresh greenery. The infamous Syncline Ridge Fire burned uncontrollably here throughout the summer of 2003.

While forest fires can cause untold destruction, some actually help the ecology of an area. Many fires are set intentionally for that purpose. The Syncline Ridge Fire began as a prescribed burn, a forestry method used to clear dead brush and prevent wildfires. Cleared forests in turn provide grazing lands for domestic herds and wild animals, and burned-out trees become new habitats for birds and insects. For centuries, First Nations tribes used this technique to clear thick wooded areas for their crops.

The fire on Syncline Ridge started as a controlled burn in early May, but the weather didn't cooperate. The summer of 2003 was unusually dry, and winds whipped the smoldering embers back into life. Burning into late August, the inferno spread across 25,000 hectares (61,000 acres). Fall rains and winter snows finally extinguished the blaze. Several park cabins were destroyed, but no lives were lost.

Today the area is brimming with wildlife, and new plant species are thriving. Rangers report record numbers of spawning salmon and trout. New grasses and berry bushes have attracted moose, elk, deer, mountain goats and bighorn sheep, and the omnivores—wolves, black bears and grizzlies—have followed in their tracks. For a fire, not a bad summer's work.

Read More

Jasper National Park, AB

Top AAA Diamond Hotels

AAA’s in-person hotel evaluations are unscheduled to ensure the inspector has an experience similar to that of members. To pass inspection, all hotels must meet the same rigorous standards for cleanliness, comfort and hospitality. These hotels receive a AAA Diamond designation that tells members what type of experience to expect.

Save 5% or more when booking AAA/CAA rates plus earn bonus points with the AAA Preferred™ BWR Program

Best Western Plus Hinton Inn & Suites

340 Smith St. Hinton, AB T7V 2A1

Book Now
Sunwapta Falls Rocky Mountain Lodge

Hwy 93. Jasper, AB T0E 1E0

Book Now
Holiday Inn Express & Suites

462 Smith St. Hinton, AB T7V 2A1

Book Now
The Crimson Jasper

200 Connaught Dr. Jasper, AB T0E 1E0

call or visit a AAA Travel Agent Today!

Find a AAA Office

As a AAA member, you'll save even more. Your AAA Travel Agent will check to see if AAA Vacations is combinable with other AAA member benefits, plus cruise and tour past passenger discounts and benefits.

Not a Member?

Join Now