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What is a Fire Management Plan?

Parks Canada is developing a plan to guide fire management in Banff, Kootenay and Yoho national parks. The plan directs both the prevention and control of fire to protect people, property and landscapes, and the use of fire for meeting ecosystem goals within these national parks for the next 10 years. Building on thirty years of fire management planning and experience, the new plan describes the policy, strategic direction, and field-level actions to achieve positive environmental and social outcomes.


How does the Fire Management Plan support the Park Management Plan?

Park management plans provide strategic direction for park management decisions. Fire management plans provide operational direction for the priorities outlined by park management plans. The fire management program, guided by the Fire Management Plan, delivers primarily on priorities for ecological integrity and public safety.

Why is a fire management plan necessary?

Until the late 20th century, protection from wildfire centered on fire suppression. As understanding of the negative impacts of fire suppression grew in the 1970s and 80s, Parks Canada’s approach to fire management evolved to focus on the use of prescribed fire and forest fuel reduction to decrease the risk of wildfire and improve park ecology.

Why does this plan cover three national parks?

Banff, Kootenay and Yoho national parks share boundaries, and have similar ecosystems, history, and challenges. Because of their proximity to each other, and the importance of taking a consistent approach to fire management, Parks Canada is including all three national parks in this fire management plan. 

What are the key components of this plan?

The plan incorporates the following five core elements: wildfire prevention; wildfire risk reduction; wildfire preparedness; wildfire management and response; and prescribed fire implementation.  The plan is not intended to provide specific information on each proposed prescribed fire or fuel management project. It is instead intended to highlight the current research, policy, strategic direction, annual planning and operational priorities that will guide work over the life of the plan.

What is the lifespan of this plan?

Parks Canada’s National Fire Management Directive states that all fire management plans must include a five year prescribed fire and fuel management schedule. Some sections in this plan go beyond that, and detail the prescribed fire and fuel management plans (completed and conceptual) for the next 5 to 10 years. 

Why engage the public now?

An integral part of any effective landscape-level plan is getting the input of Indigenous Peoples, key stakeholders and the general public. It is only through public involvement that Parks Canada can ensure that planning for the national parks reflects the perspectives and interests of the people they are held in trust for.

How can I get more information or comment on the plan?

Parks Canada is inviting comments on the draft Fire Management Plan from February 8 – April 30, 2019. For more details about the plan and the fire management program, please visit www.talkwithparks.ca. Comments can also be submitted to opinion@canada.ca or by mail at:

Integrated Land Use, Policy and Planning

Room 301

Box 900, Banff AB

T1L 1K2

What happens next?

At the close of the public comment period, Parks Canada will carefully review and analyze all feedback received. Information gathered in the engagement process will be used to refine the plan prior to a final review and approval by the Superintendents.

A summary of the public comments received will be posted on the three national parks’ websites.