BC Parks is planning to conduct an eight-hectare prescribed burn in Monck Provincial Park, northeast of Merritt, in an effort to restore the area’s ecosystem and reduce wildfire risks.
The BC Wildfire Service will conduct the burning operations in mid-March or late March. The exact timing of the burn will depend on weather and site conditions. The project will proceed only if fire behaviour conditions are suitable and will allow for quick smoke dissipation and low-to-moderate fire intensity. Trained wildfire crews will be onsite to carefully monitor the fire.
Smoke will be visible from Nicola Lakeshore Estates and residences west of the park near Monck Park Rd. Smoke may also be visible from Highway 5A, but no highway closures are planned as a result of this burn.
The goal of these burns is to mimic naturally occurring ground fires and reduce the level of dead and combustible material in grassland and open forest areas. Introducing fire to the park will also help protect a number of values, including riparian areas, trail beds and park facilities, as well as nearby residential communities and infrastructure.
The removal of forest fuels helps reduce the threat of interface wildfires. Prescribed fire can also discourage insect infestations and help fire-adapted plant species reproduce.
A factsheet about prescribed burning is available online: