September 12, 2000

Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources Plans Prescribed
Burn in Quetico to Reduce Potential for Large-scale Forest Fires

The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) will be conducting a two
thousand-hectare prescribed burn this fall in Quetico Wilderness Provincial
Park in an effort to reduce the potential for future large-scale forest
fires in blowdown timber. The Emerald Lake Prescribed Burn will be
conducted following approved MNR prescribed burn-planning guidelines.

As the result of a windstorm in July 1999, a large area of blowdown timber
along the Ontario/Minnesota border now poses a significant forest fire
hazard. The prescribed burn aims to reduce fine forest fuels (i.e. pine
tree needles, small branches) in the area of Quetico Park's most intense

The burn area is bound in the northwest by Emerald Lake and in the
southeast by Knife Lake with several smaller lakes in the interior of the
area. There is almost 100 percent blowdown on hilltops and 20 to 30 percent
in the lower lying landscape. A second smaller block within the prescribed
area is bound in the northwest by Polaris Lake, and in the southwest and
south-southeast by Birch Lake.

The timing of the burn has been scheduled for late September when park
visitor use drops, and the weather favours low-intensity fire behaviour.
This means there will be minimum impact on people, wildlife and values in
the area.

For further information contact:

Deb MacLean
Fire Information & Marketing Specialist
Fire Management Centre - West Fire Region
(807) 937-7241 - phone
(807) 937-7299 - fax

Dave Cleaveley
Planning & Integration Unit
Fire Management Centre - WFR
(807) 937-7236 - phone
(807) 937-7299 - fax