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Gregoire Lake Provincial Park closes early after heavy winds caused trees to fall

Gregoire Lake Provincial Park has closed for the rest of the season.

The provincial government said in a statement that heavy winds of about 60 km/h caused over 20 healthy-looking trees to fall across the park access road on Aug. 21.

Another 100 trees have fallen elsewhere in the park.

“We are looking at all options to ensure that we can offer a safe and reliable service to park users. Although our decision to close the park will affect camping opportunities for the last few weeks of summer, our top priority is always the safety of Albertans.” said Jason Nixon, Minister of Environment and Parks

The statement blames this year’s “very wet conditions and fire damaged soils.”

After the 2016 Horse River Wildfire, healthy looking trees weren’t mitigated to the same extent as fire-affected trees.

The government will now evaluate the area and examine how to restore the park safely and that work is anticipated to be done in time for the 2020 camping season.

Normally, the park would be open for camping until Thanksgiving.