Expect to see smoke on Mount Revelstoke from planned burns

Expect to see smoke from Mount Revelstoke soon due to prescribed burns designed to mitigate wildfire risk.

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File photo: A Parks Canada employee on a helicopter fire patrol in Glacier national park. Photo: Aaron Orlando/Revelstoke Mountaineer file photo

Parks Canada is planning some burns on Mount Revelstoke next week and also some more burns in the fall, so don’t be alarmed if you see smoke above Revelstoke. The burns are part of Parks Canada’s wildfire risk reduction program. The exact dates aren’t know because burning of this kind requires certain environmental conditions to be in place before crews can set off the fires. Here’s a May 10 media release from Parks Canada explaining the situation:

Wildfire risk reduction

Media release by Shelley Bird, Wildfire Information Officer, Parks Canada

Wildfire risk reduction work including brush pile burning will start in Mount Revelstoke National Park as early as next week. Most work will take place along the Meadows in the Sky Parkway near the top of the ski jump, and along the southern park boundary. You may notice smoke along the base of the mountain.

Parks Canada takes wildfire preparedness including risk reduction activities seriously. Over the last few years, Parks Canada and BC Wildfire Service fire crews have been tree clearing and brushing along the base of the mountain. This work contributes to wildfire risk reduction actions taking place in and around the Revelstoke area by reducing forest fuels in this area, completing the community fire guard around the city.

File photo: Firefighters work on a June 19, 2018 fire on the lower slopes of Mount Revelstoke. Photo: Parks Canada

Further up the mountain, the Parkway Bend prescribed fire is planned for September 2019 at the earliest. The primary goal of the prescribed fire in Mount Revelstoke National Park is to create a landscape level fuel break limiting the potential spread of wildfire on the front face of Mount Revelstoke. Fire specialists will only ignite under pre-determined conditions to ensure a well-managed, successful prescribed fire. While the site was ready in 2018, the conditions or “prescription” were not met last fall. Parks Canada’s fire specialists take into account weather, type of vegetation, moisture levels, terrain, anticipated fire behavior, availability of resources and more to determine when they are in prescription. The safety of the public, our crews, park infrastructure, and neighbouring lands is always our number one priority.

Parks Canada is a leader in fire management with over 30 years of experience in using fire to naturally restore and maintain the ecological integrity of national parks and historic sites. Through safe and effective fire management, we are reducing the danger of wildfire to the public, infrastructure, and neighbouring lands while improving the ecological integrity of our forests.

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