GATINEAU, QC, Oct. 14, 2014 /CNW/ - Parks Canada reported on its seasonal assessment of fire management in national parks. Parks Canada's Fire Management Specialists conducted 12 prescribed fires as part of an on-going program to restore healthy forests, grasslands and wildlife habitat, and to help reduce the risk of wildfire in present-day overly old, dense vegetation. Parks Canada's fire teams also quickly suppressed 84 fires in 16 national parks that had the potential to threaten people and property. They use the latest technologies and research to predict and manage fire.
Across the country, Parks Canada has been actively working with partners to restore the important natural role of fire in many parks across the country, including Thousand Island National Park, Cape Breton Highland National Park and Banff National Park. Parks Canada is well on the way to meeting its long term ecological target for fire management and is widely recognized as an international leader in this field. In fact, since 2003, Parks Canada has successfully managed almost 1,200 fires for a total area of more than 10,000 square kilometers, twice the size of the province of Prince Edward Island.
Through initiatives like the prescribed burn program, Parks Canada is supporting Canada's National Conservation Plan by taking practical action to restore Canada's ecosystems and contribute to the conservation of Canada's lands and waters.
- This spring and summer, Parks Canada conducted 12 prescribed fires, totaling over 4,000 hectares, which will help restore Canada's ecosystems and contribute to the conservation of Canada's lands and waters.
- Twenty-three prescribed fires are planned for the fall in nine national parks across Canada, six of which have already occurred in the following parks Terra-Nova, Grasslands (3), Kootenay and Waterton Lakes.
- In 2014, wildfires encompassed over 292,000 hectares; which is approximately half the size of Prince Edward Island.
- Parks Canada worked in cooperation with provincial and territorial agencies to manage several wildfires, including the Spreading Creek fire in Banff National Park and three large fires in Wood Buffalo National Park. These were the biggest fires Parks Canada faced in 2014, with 129,000 hectares burned.
- To date, 2014 is comparable to past years' average of 82 wildfires annually.
"Parks Canada is a world leader in the use of fire as a method of restoring a natural process to the landscape, supporting ecosystem biodiversity and health. The Agency is committed to public safety and mitigating wildfire risk to infrastructure, cultural and ecological resources."
Jeff Weir, Manager, National Fire Management
Ecosystem Management: www.pc.gc.ca/eng/progs/np-pn/eco/eco5.aspx
Parks Canada works to ensure that Canada's historic and natural heritage is presented and protected for the enjoyment, education and appreciation of all Canadians, today and in the future. Through a network of 44 national parks, 167 national historic sites and four national marine conservation areas, Parks Canada sets the stage and invites Canadians, as well as people from around the world, to engage in personal moments of inspiring discovery of our treasured natural and historic places.
Image with caption: "Parks Canada fire crew member begins ignition using a hand-held drip torch on Camelot Island in Thousand Islands National Park. (CNW Group/Parks Canada)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20141014_C2122_PHOTO_EN_6618.jpg
SOURCE: Parks Canada
For further information: Media Relations, Parks Canada, 855-862-1812, www.twitter.com/parkscanada