That strategy aims to minimize exposure to smoke, which increases complications for people with Covid-19. It is also intended to lower the risk of a fire becoming so large that it strains resources and puts communities at risk of evacuation.
The Fort Smith-based crews will provide support to the NWT’s other national parks if facilities in those parks need to be protected. Those other national parks, like the Nahanni National Park Reserve, have a larger number of natural fire breaks, which means the threat of a major forest fire is consider lower than in Wood Buffalo.
Morin said Wood Buffalo’s fire season usually begins in late May, when lightning starts.
As of Friday morning, there were no fires in the park. No holdover fires from last year have been noticed during smoke patrols.
The park is not currently under a fire ban.
“If we get into a situation where resources are starting to be stressed … the superintendent will decide to put a fire ban in place,” Morin noted.