Point Pelee Reopens After Fire

Point Pelee National Park is accepting visitors again after a fire swept through nearly a kilometre of marsh last week.

Parks Canada's Louis Lavoie says the park is grateful to responders for containing the blaze. Wildlife will bounce back, but he says man-made structures will take much longer to restore.

"I want to recognize the exceptional support we got from the Leamington Fire Department and the OPP in dealing with the events, including our Parks Canada staff so that visitors can still enjoy Point Pelee National Park today and also the marsh board walk that was saved from the fires," says Lavoie.


A fire rages at Point Pelee National Park in Leamington on March 29, 2017. (Photo by Ricardo Veneza)

Lavoie tells AM800 News, the fire could have been a disaster — but there is a silver lining. He says controlled burns are a part of maintaining balance in the park and alhough uncontrolled burns are not ideal, it's not the worst thing that could have happened.

"Fire and flooding being apart of a natural ecosystem are an essential process to help create habitats for numerous species," says Lavoie. "So, the passage of a fire like the one we've had in the marsh helps create ecosystem diversity on which many of our wildlife species depend. "

Lavoie says Point Pelee is ready to resume business as usual and looks forward to welcoming back visitors.

The area affected by the fire will be obvious for several weeks, but Lavoie says in a few months the marsh will be more vibrant than ever.