Pukaskwa National Park of Canada

Prescribed Fire at Pukaskwa National Park a Success

Visitors can experience first hand how fire benefits the Boreal forest

Fire has been a natural and essential process in the boreal forest for over 9,000 years.
© Parks Canada

HERON BAY, ONTARIO, May 18, 2012 – Parks Canada has successfully completed a 1-hectare demonstration prescribed fire in Pukaskwa National Park’s Hattie Cove area.

With appropriate weather, fire behavior, and public safety conditions, Pukaskwa’s fire management staff ignited the fire site on May 14th. The Pic River Volunteer Fire Department assisted with this operation. The park’s fire suppression crew monitored the site daily before declaring the fire extinguished today.

The main purpose of the burn was to encourage the regeneration of fire-dependent boreal plants in a site accessible to visitors. New interpretive programs will be developed to enrich the visitor experience. From year-to-year, there will be excellent opportunities to learn about succession from an early stage ecosystem through to a mature forest.

Prior to launching the operation, several small test fires were ignited so that technical specialists could observe critical factors, such as wind behaviour. Safety is a top priority, and the prescribed fire could not proceed without optimal conditions. The main fire was then manually ignited with specialized handheld drip torches. The fire was closely monitored during the four hours of the operation and was then extinguished. The site continued to be monitored for several days to ensure that the fire was completely out.

Fire is a natural process, which contributes to ecological integrity and biodiversity within Pukaskwa. Watch for other 2012 fire management activities in Pukaskwa National Park, which may include prescribed fires in the park’s interior: Tip Top Mountain, Cascade Lake, and Lurch Lake. Information and updates are available on-line at www.parkscanada.gc.ca/pukaskwa 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.


Prescribed Fire at Pukaskwa National Park will Provide New Learning Experiences to Visitors

Prescribed fires: a fire that is lit intentionally and is controlled by fire crews.
© Parks Canada

HERON BAY, ONTARIO, May 11, 2012 – Parks Canada plans to conduct a 1-hectare experimental fire in Pukaskwa National Park’s Hattie Cove area on May 14th, weather permitting.

The Hattie Cove Prescribed Fire has been carefully planned and will not proceed unless weather, fire behaviour, and public safety conditions are met. Pukaskwa National Park fire experts will ensure that extreme caution is taken to protect life and property within and around the park.

For safety reasons, the general public and park visitors will be restricted from entering the Hattie Cove campground area during the operation, which will take 3-4 hours to complete. Information and updates regarding the timing of the Hattie Cove Prescribed Fire will be available at www.parkscanada.gc.ca/pukaskwa under the “What’s New” section.

The purpose of the fire is to provide an accessible site for visitors to see how a forest is generated over time. After the area has burned, park visitors will easily witness, from year-to-year, the growth of new species, the enhanced habitat created by fire, and other positive natural effects at the fire site. Through new interpretive programs, Pukaskwa National Park will engage visitors to learn about fire management and the role of fire in
healthy forest ecosystems. The purpose of the fire is to provide an accessible site for visitors to see how a forest is generated over time. After the area has burned, park visitors will easily witness, from
year-to-year, the growth of new species, the enhanced habitat created by fire, and other positive natural effects at the fire site. Through new interpretive programs, Pukaskwa National Park will engage visitors to learn about fire management and the role of fire in healthy forest ecosystems.

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. 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 the prescribed fire techniques to be implemented at Hattie Cove.

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Prescribed Fire at Pukaskwa National Park
© Parks Canada


Prescribed Fire at Pukaskwa National Park
© Parks Canada