The fire team carries outs prescribed burns. © Parks Canada
The fire team carries outs prescribed burns, puts out forest fires and reduces fuel in the vicinity of places used by visitors, all with a view to preventing forest fires.
Why is prescribed burning conducted?
Did you know that fire is an essential part of nature? Fire creates the conditions that allow the regeneration of a variety of plant species. Over time, periodic fires create a vegetation mosaic of different ages and types. This provides a rich variety of habitats that supports many species of insects, mammals and birds. This is biodiversity — it indicates a thriving ecosystem that is likely to persist in the future. Of special note, fire is essential for a species in decline in the park. Less than 1% of the forest is dominated by the eastern white pine. The present situation is a far cry from the one described by explorers and loggers in the centuries prior to our own.
On the fire team’s agenda
Since 1991, when the first burn was conducted, 840 hectares have been restored thanks to fire. Sites formerly colonized by white pine show promising signs of a more natural kind of regeneration and have been witness to an increase in the number of white pines. Also, a recent study conducted in the park shows a change in beetle populations after a fire.
The team is thus pursuing its efforts in the form of two major projects, one at Brier Lake (230 ha) and the other at Lac des Cinq (1,755 ha – i.e., on a scale unprecedented scale for the park!).
Did you know it takes 7,700 metres of hose and 120,000 ignition bombs to carry out the Lac des Cinq project?
Interested in knowing more about prescribed burning?
When you visit the park, stop in at the Saint-Jean-des-Piles Reception and Interpretation Centre, where a portion of the permanent exhibit is dedicated to prescribed burning. You can also enrich your visit by talking with park naturalists! They have the answers to your questions.