Fire Management Planning Guideline for Provincial Parks and Conservation Reserves

ERO number
019-0417
Notice type
Policy
Act
Provincial Parks and Conservation Reserves Act, 2006
Posted by
Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks
Notice stage
Decision
Decision posted
Comment period
January 25, 2021 - March 11, 2021 (45 days) Closed
Last updated

This consultation was open from:
January 25, 2021
to March 11, 2021

Decision summary

We approved the updated Fire Management Planning Guideline for Provincial Parks and Conservation Reserves.

Decision details

Fire is an essential natural process that renews the forest, creates healthy natural ecosystems and provides diverse landscapes.

The aim of fire management in provincial parks and conservation reserves is to protect human life and property, and to use wildland fire and prescribed burning to maintain and restore healthy, functioning ecosystems. For instance, many ecosystems, such as jack pine forests, are adapted to fire and cannot persist without periodic fire.

After reviewing input received in response to the proposal, we have decided to approve the updated fire management planning guideline. The changes to the guideline:

  • align with strategic direction in the Wildland Fire Management Strategy
  • support updates to the Fire Management Policy for Provincial Parks and Conservation Reserves (ERO 019-0414)
  • streamline fire management planning for more efficient delivery of information to support wildland fire response decisions

Comments received

Through the registry

1

By email

6

By mail

0
View comments submitted through the registry

Effects of consultation

Summary of feedback

We received a total of seven comments on the proposal. Comments included:

  • suggestion that all tourism tenure holders within protected areas must be notified when Assets, Resources and Opportunities Maps are being prepared and tenure information incorporated into mapping
  • concerns with protection of buildings and structures and potential impacts on the exercise of Aboriginal and treaty rights if trap cabins and other Indigenous values are not identified for protection from wildland fire
  • request for information on the location and timing of prescribed burns and assessments of potential ecological impacts
  • suggestions to conduct more detailed analysis and modelling in developing Assets, Resources and Opportunities Maps in order to refine assessments of benefits and impacts of wildland fire, especially in relation to the effects of climate change
  • recognition of changes in fire behaviour in peatlands due to climate change

How we considered comments

We made minor changes to the updated guideline to:

  • specifically recognize commercial tourism operators and other tenure holders (e.g. private recreation camps) as stakeholders in fire management planning
  • incorporate information related to occupational authority in provincial parks and conservation reserves into Assets, Resources and Opportunities Maps

We considered protection of buildings and structures to be sufficiently addressed in the updated guideline. The guideline includes direction for engagement with Indigenous communities during fire management planning to identify assets and resources that may require protection from wildland fire. This includes structures or other values needed for the exercise of Aboriginal and treaty rights. As outlined in the guideline, Aviation Forest Fires and Emergency Services (AFFES) responds to all wildland fires using appropriate response, which is guided by the Wildland Fire Management Strategy. Under this strategy, any known structures are prioritized for protection given the capabilities of AFFES at the time of a fire.

Although the guideline provides guidance on identifying opportunities for prescribed burning in provincial parks and conservation reserves and assessing potential impacts, it does not propose specific locations of prescribed burns.

We made minor changes to recognize the immediacy of climate change in:

  • fire management planning
  • changes in fire behaviour in peatlands.

We didn’t make any changes that required more detailed analysis for Assets, Resources and Opportunities maps, which are intended as a streamlined process for low complexity situations. The use of models to assess the effects of climate change on the fire regime and ecological impacts is already included in the guidance for preparing fire management plans, which are prepared for complex situations where more refined assessments of potential impacts may be needed.

Supporting materials

View materials in person

Important notice: Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, viewing supporting materials in person is not available at this time.

Please reach out to the Contact listed in this notice to see if alternate arrangements can be made.

Ontario Parks - Protected Areas Section
Address

300 Water Street
6th Floor, North tower
Peterborough, ON
K9J 3C7
Canada

Office phone number

Connect with us

Contact

Karen Hartley

Phone number
Email address
Office
Ontario Parks - Protected Areas Section
Address

300 Water Street
6th Floor, North tower
Peterborough, ON
K9J 3C7
Canada

Office phone number

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Original proposal

ERO number
019-0417
Notice type
Policy
Act
Provincial Parks and Conservation Reserves Act, 2006
Posted by
Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks
Proposal posted

Comment period

January 25, 2021 - March 11, 2021 (45 days)

Proposal details

Purpose of policy

The purpose of the guideline is to assist staff in developing fire management direction for provincial parks and conservation reserves. Guidance is provided on: assessing opportunities for wildland fire and prescribed burning; identifying assets and resources requiring protection, and; documenting fire management direction.

Background

Fire management planning for provincial parks and conservation reserves is a process for:

  • identifying opportunities for achieving the ecological benefits of fire
  • preventing negative impacts to human life and property

Fire management direction for provincial parks and conservation reserves is prepared in accordance with:

  • the fire management policy
  • the fire management planning guideline

Ontario’s Fire Management Planning Guideline for Provincial Parks and Conservation Reserves

The existing fire management planning guideline helps staff to:

  • assess the type of fire management that is appropriate for a provincial park or conservation reserve
  • assess and document opportunities for wildland fire benefits and prescribed burning in provincial park and conservation reserve management plans
  • prepare a fire response plan or fire management plan if more detailed planning is needed to guide wildland fire response

Proposed changes

We are proposing changes to:

  • align with strategic direction in the Wildland Fire Management Strategy
  • support proposed updates to the Fire Management Policy for Provincial Parks and Conservation Reserves (ERO 019-0414)
  • streamline fire management planning for more efficient delivery of information to support wildland fire response decisions

The proposed changes include:

  • replacing fire response plans with guidance on preparing assets, resources and opportunities maps
  • streamlining guidance for preparing a fire management plan
  • updating guidance on assessing opportunities for wildland fire benefits and prescribed burning during protected areas management planning and examinations
  • reducing details on planning and administrative processes

These changes will result in:

  • a more efficient process for preparing fire management direction for provincial parks and conservation reserves
  • enhanced opportunities to use fire to achieve ecological benefits

Other information

The Fire Management Policy for Provincial Parks and Conservation Reserves is being updated concurrently with proposed changes to the guideline. Consultation on the policy and guideline are being conducted concurrently. See ERO number 019-0414 to learn more about proposed changes to the policy.

The proposed policy and guideline were developed jointly by Ontario Parks (Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks) and Aviation, Forest Fire and Emergency Services (Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry).

Public consultation opportunities

Indigenous communities and provincial treaty organizations have been informed of the proposed policy and invited to comment. Key stakeholders have also been notified of the consultation opportunity.

Supporting materials

View materials in person

Important notice: Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, viewing supporting materials in person is not available at this time.

Please reach out to the Contact listed in this notice to see if alternate arrangements can be made.

Comment

Commenting is now closed.

This consultation was open from January 25, 2021
to March 11, 2021

Connect with us

Contact

Karen Hartley

Phone number
Email address
Office
Ontario Parks - Protected Areas Section
Address

300 Water Street
6th Floor, North tower
Peterborough, ON
K9J 3C7
Canada

Office phone number