Parks Canada will be conducting controlled fires at Point Pelee National Park starting as early as Monday if conditions are favourable.

The prescribed fires will continue up to April 15.

The planned blazes will be located near the Visitor Centre, Cactus Field, Marsh and Sleepy Hollow.

This prescribed fire program is an important part of the park’s Lake Erie Sand Spit Savannah restoration project, Parks Canada said.

These fires contribute to the restoration of Point Pelee National Park’s globally rare savannah ecosystem by reducing the number of exotic plants, preventing the spread of invading shrubs and trees, and improving habitat for Species at Risk.

The park will remain open to visitors during this time but some areas will be closed for short periods of time to ensure visitor and staff safety.

The prescribed fires will only be initiated when the environmental and weather conditions are suitable, Parks Canada said.

Extensive planning and careful execution will ensure that the prescribed fires are controlled and contained within predetermined boundaries. Some smoke will be present and visible, but staff will monitor wind conditions and direct smoke away from publicly used areas to the extent possible.

This is an important step in restoring healthy, resilient ecosystems that support a variety of birds, butterflies, and Species at Risk which depend on open, sunny savannah habitat to survive, Parks Canada said.