Forest and fire management strategy : Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park Alberta
The integrated fire and forest management strategy proposed includes finescale fuel reduction programs including FireSmart priorities, grazing and firewood salvage. Recommended broad-scale fuel reduction interventions include pro-active fuelbreaks and containment lines based on the concept of Landscape Management Units (LMUs) introduced in the Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park-Alberta Management Plan (2009). Contingency fuelbreaks and suppression containment lines such as sprinkler lines and feller-buncher tree removal are also proposed. Prescribed fire may also be a later possibility once fuel reduction programs are in place. Mitigating catastrophic fire events from a public safety and community protection standpoint requires wildfire operations strategies that include pre-attack planning, initial attack planning, and planning for sustained fire suppression action. Overall, fire management strategies such as mitigation of catastrophic fire risk and prescribed fire contribute to forest health protection through maintenance of natural disturbance processes through which park ecosystems evolved. Wildfire emergency planning, interagency communication, and ecosystem monitoring remain important.