A tree burning

Many of the forests within national parks are fire adapted. In these ecosystems, fire helps maintain forest health and biodiversity. Parks Canada uses carefully planned prescribed fire to safely restore and maintain this important ecological process.

A prescribed fire is an intentional fire planned and managed by fire specialists. A “prescription” describes the conditions and procedures necessary to burn safely and effectively.

Parks Canada’s fire specialists take into account weather, type of vegetation, moisture levels, terrain, anticipated fire behavior, risk to public and infrastructure, and more when writing a prescription. They define the boundary of the fire using natural barriers, such as cliffs and wetlands, combined with other features, such as roads and constructed fuel breaks made by people. Finally, the team outlines the conditions under which the prescription can be used. When these conditions are met, the team is ready for action.

Park staff walk along a burn line