Back in July one evening during our “Women Only Photography Workshop” at Aurum Lodge, a thunderstorm rolled through and a lightening strike started what became known as the Spreading Creek wildfire. Spreading Creek is on the south bank of the North Saskatchewan River near the Banff Park boundary. The wildfire grew rapidly spreading both east to the slopes of Mount Peskett and west into Banff National Park on the slopes of Mount Murchison up to Highway 93 at Saskatchewan Crossing. At one point the wildfire jumped the Saskatchewan River and the David Thompson Highway (Highway 11) into an area that had been burned previously as a prescribed burn in 2009. At least the firefighters were able to attack that part of the fire and douse it right away before it had a chance to spread further. It was over two months that the firefighters battled the wildfire, which burned an area approximately 9000 hectare in size. To see some images of the wildfire in July have a look at our previous blog post from July 17th.
In October Mark and I returned to the area and spent part of a day taking some images of the burnt forest. Three months after the fire started, we were surprised to see it still smoldering in at least three places and in some other area there were some plants starting to grow up from the ashes, signs the forest is already beginning to regenerate. – Leslie