Lightning LIGHTNING IGNITED FIRES long before human habitation. The coal beds formed over 250 million years ago are present-day evidence of ancient fires.

In 1677 one of the early French missionaries, Father LeClercq, witnessed first-hand the destructive power of fire started by a bolt of lightning.

‘ …it set in flames all the woods and forests which lay between Mirimachis and Nepisiquit, but also burnt and consumed more than 250 leagues of country in such a manner that nothing was to be seen except very tall and quite blackened trunks of trees…’
[Father C. LeClercq, 1677. Nouvelle Relations de la Gaspesie.]

WILDFIRE IS A POWERFUL NATURAL FORCE. Fire plays a major role in the regeneration of wilderness ecosystems. When stands of dead trees and debris on the ground burn, they are recycled as nutrient-rich ash.

Jack Pine cone opened by recent fire
  • Fire opens up the tree canopy allowing sun to reach the forest floor. Sun-loving plants take root and flourish.
  • Aspen trees, damaged by fire ensure their survival by sending up multiple sprouts from their root systems.
  • Jack pine trees require the intense heat of a forest fire to regenerate. Fire opens the pine cones, releasing the seeds into the earth.
Photo Credit:
Canadian Bushplane Heritage Centre [Lightning]
Walter Muma, Leatherwood Trail [Jack Pine cone opened by recent fire]
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