2020 sees low number of wildfires so far

Wildfires have been scarce in Saskatchewan this year; only 118 so far. 399 is the five year average. While that is good news, there is a down side. Fires bring rejuvenation to the forest, weeding out old-growth to keep the forests healthy. Steve Roberts is the Acting Vice President Operations for the Saskatchewan Public Safety Agency. He says a couple of years with a small number of fires isn’t that much when you consider the 70 to 80 year time-frame for rejuvenation.

However, he says if there is a long period of time where we don’t have a lot of fires, or humans are suppressing them, then the forest climate can chance and even become unusable for certain kinds of wildlife. So, ecologically, Roberts says they like to see a nice distribution of young, middle-growth, and old growth forest.

He says, even the spring fire near Prince Albert left a forest that is nicely diverse and will greatly enhance the wildlife in the area.

Roberts says more rain in the north, which also hinders a lot of human activity, is one reason for the low number of fires this year. Even COVID-19 has come into the picture, again, reducing human activity, keeping large gatherings down which has limited human-caused fires.


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