Wednesday, June 20, 2018

After the Fire

Waterton Lakes National Park
Watercolour and oil pastel
©2018 Charlene Brown

Many years of strict fire prevention and suppression in western Canada has resulted in mountainsides of over mature, deteriorating trees, very susceptible to the drying effects of even a little year-round warming and the insect infestations that followed. The appearance of  unbroken stretches of highly combustible dead or dying trees, especially in the National Parks, brought about forestry policy changes and a shift to controlled burning to manage forested areas and create fire-breaks, with efforts to completely suppress wildfire limited to populated areas. 

Such an all-effort saved the town of Waterton from a wildfire last September.  I have painted the burnt area surrounding the town and covering the entire mountainside above it in the silvery-mauve patina I’ve observed in previous blog posts about an earlier wildfire in KootenayNational Park.