Parks Canada notifies residents of prescribed fire in southwest corner of Prince Albert National Park

Parks Canada says residents in the Sturgeon River Valley may experience smoky conditions due to a prescribed fire in the southwest corner of Prince Albert National Park.

Park officials say up to 80 hectares may be burned if the required spring weather and environment conditions are met. The fire is part of a multi-year restoration project to rejuvenate forested areas, expand and restore grasslands, and increase bison habitat.

“After the fire, the area will be monitored and suppression actions taken as required until the fire is classified as extinguished,” reads a Parks Canada press release sent out on Wednesday. “Neighbouring residents may experience some smoky conditions in the evening due to smoke travelling out of the prescribed fire unit.”

Park officials plan to add additional safety measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 among fire management personnel during operations.

Prescribed fires are used to help reduce the encroachment of aspen forests and rejuvenate meadows and native grasslands. The increased biodiversity that results from those fires helps create habitat for insects, small plants, and animals like the Sturgeon River plains bison heard.