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Pukaskwa National Park of Canada

Prescribed Fire at Pukaskwa continues ...

Prescribed Fire near Tip Top Mountain
© Parks Canada

HERON BAY, ONTARIO, August 14, 2012 – Pukaskwa National Park of Canada continues ignition operations at the Tip Top prescribed fire site. Conditions are currently optimal for an August 15th aerial ignition.

The prescribed fire operation was initiated on May 18, using a helicopter equipped with an aerial ignition device. During that day, the fire spread gradually through the understory of the forest, covering an estimated 75 hectares. Shortly afterward, there was significant rainfall and, as a result, the operation had been temporarily suspended.

The plan is to continue burning targeted sections of this site from August 15th into the autumn, but only under optimal weather and safety conditions. Experienced fire technicians are monitoring the weather and the site carefully. Pukaskwa has four weather stations, one located near Tip Top Mountain.

The Tip Top prescribed fire site covers 1,200 hectares in a birch mixedwood forest, and it represents less than half a percent of the total area of Pukaskwa. The area is remote and represents minimal risk to park visitors, including those hiking the coastal hiking trail. It is located in the central interior of the park, approximately 40 kilometres southeast of the administration building and 8 kilometres from Lake Superior. From a regional perspective, it is situated approximately 85 km west of Wawa and 65 km southeast of Marathon.

The park’s vegetation management goal is to treat 65% (780 hectares) of the fire site area. To date, approximately 25% (300 hectares) has been successfully burned.

The overall objective of this project is to improve the health and structure of Pukaskwa National Park’s boreal forest ecosystem. The park uses fire as one way to naturally maintain healthy forests and biodiversity.

For safety reasons the general public is not allowed near the immediate burn site area.


  • Tip Top Mountain (see attached map)
  • 65 kilometres southeast of Marathon
  • 70 kilometres west from White River
  • 8 kilometres from Lake Superior

HERON BAY, ONTARIO, May 17, 2012 – Parks Canada plans to conduct a 1000-hectare prescribed fire near Tip Top Mountain, in the back-country of Pukaskwa National Park. The fire will be taking place between the dates of May 17 and May 22, weather permitting.

Planning for prescribed fires takes into consideration all the precautions necessary to contain the fire in the prescribed fire zone. Containing the Tip Top fire within the boundary is being done by a combination of methods, including natural barriers and favourable weather conditions. The fire will be set by helicopters equipped with an aerial ignition device, however, ground crews using handheld drip torches may also be called upon. Fire control will be maintained using trained and experienced Parks Canada fire management staff.

Fire is an essential and natural process in the boreal forest. Parks Canada uses prescribed fires to promote biodiversity. Prescribed fires are one way that Pukaskwa National Park ensures that the health of the park’s boreal forest ecosystem is protected for the appreciation and enjoyment of present and future generations.

There will be no disruption to Caribou Festival events. Information and updates regarding the timing of the Tip Top prescribed fire will be available at, under the “What’s New” section, and on Twitter: @PukaskwaNP.

As the world’s first national parks service, Parks Canada is a leader in the protection and presentation of treasured national parks, national historic sites, and national marine conservation areas. Parks Canada follows exemplary conservation practices, such as prescribed fire techniques to be implemented near Tip Top Mountain.

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