How do provincial parks prepare for forest fires?

Ever wondered how wildfires are handled in parks? Assistant Superintendent Anne Young recounts a recent training exercise completed in her park.

It’s 9:30 am. Thick smoke hangs in the air.

The MNRF Fire Base in Dryden has contacted Aaron Provincial Park to advise that there is a wildfire east of the park. The fire has an east wind; they are predicting it may impact the park by early evening.

The simulation has begun…

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So there’s a fire ban. Now what?

Today’s post comes from Meg Bethune, an assistant naturalist at Killbear Provincial Park

Campfires are an essential part of any camping trip. Whether you’re toasting marshmallows and spider weenies, or just chatting with friends,  the memories made in the flickering glow of the fire are ones we hold dear to our hearts.

So what happens when a fire ban hinders one of our favourite camping traditions?

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Be PARKsmart this summer

In the heat of summer, a popular past time is… well, anything involving water.  This summer while out on the water, Ontario Parks would like you to remember safety first!

Did you know the PARKsmart Lifejacket Lending Program is available in more than 67 provincial parks?  To ensure the safety of your family, lifejackets may be borrowed for a small refundable deposit.  This program is made possible by the support of these generous sponsors:  Mountain Equipment Co-op, Ontario Power Generation (OPG), BOATsmart, The Canadian Red Cross and The Waterkeeper Swim Guide.


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Why fire is sometimes a good thing

Wildfires cause a lot of destruction each summer – there are dramatic videos and pictures in the news every year.  So why did Ontario Parks purposely light a park on fire this May?

In some parts of Ontario, fires used to be a common, natural part of the landscape.  Some ecosystems and species need fire in order to survive and are now disappearing from the province.  The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry and many non-government organizations (like Rice Lake Plains Joint Initiative and Tallgrass Ontario) are dedicated to understanding the role of fire in Ontario, and to using fire to restore unique communities of plants and animals.

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Pet-friendly Ontario Parks

While all Ontario Parks are pet-friendly, some offer more than others when it comes to camping with a canine traveling companion. Twelve Ontario Parks offer designated pet exercise areas and beaches. Seventeen more have one or the other. Below is a sample of pet-friendly parks in different parts of Ontario with designated pet-friendly beaches, exercise areas, or both.  For a complete list of all parks with pet exercise areas and/ or beaches PLUS a dog owner’s list of do’s and don’ts, visit our Dogs and Pets in Ontario Parks post.

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Water and Boating Safety Tips from BOATsmart!

If you’ve ever visited one of Ontario’s more than 330 Provincial Parks, you already know that the scenery is nothing short of spectacular. Every square inch of it–the pristine forests, the vibrant sunsets, the cozy campsites and of course, the sparkling lakes. Many visitors take in these views from the seat of a fishing boat, while they paddle along shore in a canoe, or while they hang out on the beach with their family.

Have you experienced this? Was everyone wearing life jackets when on the water? Did you have a boat license when you were fishing with your kids in that motorboat?


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Ice-Out Canoeing: A spring tradition for adventurous paddlers

It’s a rite of passage for many die-hard paddlers and it’s only a couple of weeks away….an ice out canoe trip.  So what’s the attraction?   It’s a moment of celebration, a time for paddlers to break free of the winter blahs, the sweet spot before the annoyance of spring bugs.  As long as you’re well prepared, an ice-out paddle can be the ultimate early spring adventure. Continue reading Ice-Out Canoeing: A spring tradition for adventurous paddlers