September 22, 2017 9:32 pm
Updated: September 22, 2017 10:27 pm

Glacier National Park benefiting from intense fire season


It’s no secret that B.C. has had an intense fire season and Glacier National Park near Revelstoke has faced the same situation with fires burning more terrain and taking longer to burn out.

However, Parks Canada actually considers the blazes a benefit.

Two blazes that were started by lightning strikes in early July are still smoldering in the northeastern part of the park.

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Fire crews focused their efforts on making sure the flames didn’t affect the Trans-Canada Highway or nearby rail line.

“We had a section of fire that burned basically right next to the highway for about a kilometre stretch but through our fire suppression we kept that fire [at a] really, really low intensity so it just burned along the ground,” said Parks Canada fire information officer Shelley Bird.

Watch Below: An aerial view of terrain burnt by the Mountain Creek wildfire in Glacier National Park.

The highway never had to be closed because of the blazes and the intensity of the fire season actually has its benefits, she said.

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“Fire has been a natural part of these systems and it is what supports having a healthy ecosystem,” said Bird.

There is intact old-growth forest interspersed between charred sections in the fire area.

“[The fire is] leaving this nice pattern of what is essentially a healthier forest. You’ve kept some of the old forest and what we will see in those blackened areas is really nutrient-rich soil where a lot of the new plants, shrubs and grasses can grow up. It is very beneficial for a lot of different species,” said Bird.

Park officials are letting nature take its course.

They expect the fires to smolder till they are fully extinguished by rain or perhaps snow.

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