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Thousand Islands National Park of Canada

Prescribed Fire at Thousand Islands National Park

The Thousand Islands are home to a number of unique and rare environments. Some of the distinctive flora represented in the area is a fire dependent forest community, which was historically managed naturally through lightning strikes and traditionally by First Nations people. For years these areas have been suppressed of fire, and in turn, some species have been in decline.

Thousand Islands National Park has conducted four prescribed fires in recent years. In 2009, Parks Canada fire crews performed a restoration fire on Georgina Island. In 2010, the park initiated a fire on Gordon Island, and in 2011, fire was successfully used to restore part of the park’s mainland property at Mallorytown Landing. In 2014, prescribed fire was used to encourage the growth of pitch pine seedlings on the west end of Camelot Island.

The suppression of natural fire by human intervention over a number of decades has removed a natural process, integral to the biodiversity and health of the mixed forest of the Thousand Islands region. Some forest species such as red oak and pitch pine need fire to regenerate, to clear away the organic layer and to open the canopy giving more light for seedlings to grow.

Pitch pine is a rare species of tree in Canada, only known to be found in Leeds County and in a small area in Quebec. It has been an emblematic tree in representing the scenic beauty of the Thousand Islands. As result of the park’s prescribed fires, more pitch pine and red oak seedlings have been counted since monitoring began in the early 1970s.

Thousand Islands National Park’s fire initiatives are supported by the Parks Canada national fire management division and local municipal fire departments and park staff.

Information

Please call: 613-923-5261


Photos from the 2011 Prescribed Fire at Mallorytown Landing

A Parks Canada fire official sets fire to ground vegetation during an August 19, 2011 prescribed fire in order to stimulate new growth of fire-dependent species like the rare pitch pine tree near the Six Nations Walking Trail in Mallorytown Landing. (Paul Galipeau/Parks Canada)
A Parks Canada fire official sets fire to ground vegetation during an August 19, 2011 prescribed fire in order to stimulate new growth of fire-dependent species like the rare pitch pine tree near the Six Nations Walking Trail in Mallorytown Landing.
© Paul Galipeau/Parks Canada

A Parks Canada fire official uses water to protect a pitch pine tree during an August 19, 2011 prescribed fire near the Six Nations Walking Trail in Mallorytown, Ontario. (Paul Galipeau/Parks Canada)
A Parks Canada fire official uses water to protect a pitch pine tree during an August 19, 2011 prescribed fire near the Six Nations Walking Trail in Mallorytown, Ontario.
© Paul Galipeau/Parks Canada

A Parks Canada fire official uses water to protect a pitch pine tree during an August 19, 2011 prescribed fire near the Six Nations Walking Trail in Mallorytown, Ontario. (Paul Galipeau/Parks Canada)
A smouldering area shortly after an August 19, 2011 prescribed fire near the Six Nations Walking Trail in Mallorytown Landing, Ontario.
© Paul Galipeau/Parks Canada

Parks Canada and local fire officials watch the smouldering burn site shortly after an August 19, 2011 prescribed fire near the Six Nations Walking Trail in Mallorytown Landing. (Mitchell Taylor/Parks Canada)
Parks Canada and local fire officials watch the smouldering burn site shortly after an August 19, 2011 prescribed fire near the Six Nations Walking Trail in Mallorytown Landing.
© Mitchell Taylor/Parks Canada