Local Biologist Thinks Point Pelee Fire Could Be A Good Thing

The fire at the marsh at Point Pelee National Park in Leamington may actually be good for the environment. That's according to Dan Lebedyk, a biologist at the Essex Region Conservation Authority.

Lebedyk says the fire will actually reset that area of the dense amount of cattails and add to more biodiversity. Crews were called Wednesday night to the massive fire which burned into Thursday.

He says the fire opened up that area so more light will get down to the water and mud surface.

"Stagnant conditions can actually allow cattails to grow so thick that they become the only species left in the marsh and it is so thick that wildlife can't even utilize dense stands like that, somewhat like Phragmities but in this case cattails," says Lebedyk. "It definitely cleared out the above ground dead of cattail stems which really opens it up so it allows more light to get down to the water surface and so now all the plants have an ability to have an equal amount of sunlight and they aren't competing or shading out by this dense cattail stems."

Lebedyk says wildlife in the area likely weren't affected too much by the fire because of the time of year. He says moving ahead, visitors will likely see an area that is more diverse instead of just cattails.

About 300 acres burned Wednesday  night into Thursday.

Lebedyk applauds the firefighters in their strategy in putting out the fire in terms of concentrating their efforts that the infrastructure was not damaged.