Update on Prescribed Fire in Waterton Lakes National Park

Here is an update from this morning’s briefing:

  • the fire management team were able to burn approximately 3 hectares in the Coppermine drainage of the Red Rock Prescribed Fire Area.
  • if the weather cooperates, they will try to burn more of the targeted 400 ha. this afternoon or tomorrow.

The goal of fire management in national parks is to restore and maintain historical fire frequency, while protecting people and facilities from wildfires. Restoring fire is important to the health of the ecosystem, including the wildlife it supports. The objectives of this fire are also related to the conservation and restoration of fescue grass and whitebark pine habitat.

Prescribed fires are only carried out by trained specialists when a set of predetermined conditions is met relating to weather, terrain, fire behaviour, fire control and smoke management. Significant preparations are made to minimize risk by burning only in conditions that allow the fire to be controlled and contained within identified boundaries, and which minimize the amount and duration of smoke affecting neighbouring lands.

Fire crews light fires during good venting conditions, so the majority of smoke is dispersed high into the atmosphere.

The fire team got some great pictures from the helicopter yesterday!

Photo credit: Parks Canada