The Ministry of Natural Resources was scheduled to ignite an 800-hectare prescribed burn in the North Basswood Lake area of Quetico Park today.
The fire aims to burn off heavy blowdown timber that remains in the park from a severe windstorm that passed through that area in 1999, the MNR said.
Removing the dead and dying timbers will reduce the fire hazard for park visitors along popular canoe routes in the North Basswood Lake area, it added.
If left untreated, the blowdown timber could be ignited during hot, dry summer weather next year by lightning strikes or if a campfire isn’t properly extinguished.
This could result is a severe wildfire that would pose dangers to park visitors.
The prescribed burn will be monitored, with ground crews on alert nearby and air attack ready should there be need, the MNR said. Since there are natural boundaries of water, the fire is expected to remain within its predetermined boundaries.
The fire site will be monitored in the days following the burn and rain is forecast to fall in that area by early next week, the MNR noted.