Burn, beetles, burn!

Foresters and provincial officials are burning tens of thousands of trees along the boundary of Jasper National Park to try to slow the spread of mountain pine beetles.

Mike Underschulz of Alberta Agriculture says the province is spending up to $20 million this year to keep the destructive bugs at a manageable level in the commercially valuable forest to the east of the park.

He says the extensive infestation in the park is making the work difficult.

Richard Briand of West Fraser Timber says the company has moved crews from other areas of its lease to deal with infected trees near Hinton.

He says the company has had to change its long-term plans because of damage from the beetles.

Smoke from the burning obscured the Yellowhead Highway near Hinton earlier this week.

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