There are currently four wildfires in Wood Buffalo National Park (WBNP), Canada according to Tim Gauthier, Fire Information Officer. Wood Buffalo is the nesting area of the only remaining self-sustaining population of whooping cranes in the world.
“There is currently no threat to nesting whooping cranes on Wood Buffalo” according to Gauthier. Friends of the Wild Whoopers (FOTWW) learned that Fire 3 is closest to the whooper’s nest but presents no harm to the cranes. Fire 4 is ~35 km SE of the nearest whooping crane nesting area. Gauthier explained that the whooping crane nesting area is located in a vast wetland area and that any fires that do occur there would only burn small tree/brush borders around the wetlands.
Gauthier provided FOTWW a bulletin that identified locations of the fires: “Fire 1 is located in the Caribou Mountain five kilometers to the west of Isidore Lake. It is currently 8000 hectares and moving to the west. It is being monitored. WBNP Fire 2 is located four kilometers north of Pine Lake and one kilometer west of the Pine Lake Road. A Parks Canada Incident Management Team has been called in to work with local WBNP Fire Management in managing this fire. It is currently 10,000 hectares. Fire 3 is a 200 hectare fire located approximately 10 kilometers south of NWT Highway 5 and 75 Kilometers west of Fort Smith. It is being monitored and currently poses no threat to any values at risk. Fire 4 is a spot fire located 20 Kilometers south of Highway 5 and 45 kilometers to the west of Fort Smith. It is being monitored.”
The long range forecast for the Wood Buffalo National Park region calls for drying conditions over the next several days and southerly winds. Temperatures are forecasted to be in the high twenties through-out the week. The high temperatures and low relative humidity have created extreme fire conditions.
There are currently no smoke warnings for the Wood Buffalo National Park region. For the latest update on air quality, please contact the WBNP Fire Information Officer at 872-0107.
For the latest information on Visitor Services, please contact the Visitor Information Centre at 872-7960.
***** FOTWW’s mission is to protect the Aransas/Wood Buffalo population
of wild whooping cranes and their habitat. *****