Jasper National Park is one of our favourite locations both for photography and just experiencing nature, so when we heard that there was a forest fire in the Maligne valley area we were quite concerned. The Maligne valley is place we spend a considerable amount of time when in Jasper and we have taken lots of great photos in the area over the years. The Excelsior Creek fire was started by a lightening strike in the afternoon of July 9th and burned, uncontrolled at times, for a number of days before it was finally put out. We realize that fire, especially naturally started ones, is beneficial for mountain forest ecology but were curious how the fire impacted the region.
So a couple of weeks ago when we were driving through Jasper National Park we decided to take a quick trip up the Maligne Lake road to see how much effect the Excelsior Creek fire had on the Medicine Lake area. From the Maligne Lake road we first saw the burn on the Maligne Range at Excelsior Creek, just across from the Watchtower parking area. The fire continued heading southeast to Medicine Lake along the Maligne Range till it was finally put out three quarters of the way down the lake. The fire also crossed over the road just before the north end of the lake and burned around the north end of the lake and a little bit down the north east side of the lake. Fortunately none of the infrastructure was damage by the fire, thanks to the hard work of the fire fighters who battled the blaze.
Although the local scenery has changed due to the fire, it has also opened up some new photographic opportunities, both now and as the forest slowly regenerates over time. We are looking forward to spending time photographing the burn.
The first images are from the north end of Medicine Lake.
Later we stopped at the south end of Medicine Lake to get a different view of the burn. The extent of the burn fallowed the length of Medicine Lake’s south west shore. – Mark and Leslie