Photos taken at the scene of a 14-hectare wildfire at Minnekhada Regional Park show the devastation.
The once green forest is now full of ashes amidst tall conifers with blackened trunks.
However, that desolate scene needn't last for long.
Plans are already in the works to bring the area back to life once Metro Vancouver Emergency Services fully extinguishes the fire that began Saturday, Oct. 1.
An emergency recovery fund for Minnekhada Park in Coquitlam has been established to raise funds to re-plant the area, and the public is encouraged to donate.
On Wednesday, (Oct. 5), Metro Vancouver Regional Parks Foundation (MVRP Foundation) announced the recovery fund as a way to re-green the iconic forest on High Knoll.
Contributions can be as little as $10 and the public can also sign up for a newsletter to get the latest on the recovery effort.
"The purpose of the Minnekhada Recovery Fund is to invest in restoring this landscape by replanting trees, rebuilding trails, and adding more native vegetation to help Minnekhada Regional Park's ecosystem recover,” stated Janet Antonio, executive director of the foundation.
In the coming months, Metro Vancouver Regional Parks will develop a restoration plan.
With the help of donors, park staff, partners and volunteers, the MVRP Foundation plans to work "tirelessly" over the coming years re-build and re-plant, according to Antonio.
Some of the work will include the following:
- Replanting trees and adding more native vegetation to help the ecosystem recover
- Restoring trail access and facilities for park visitors
- Monitoring and supporting wildlife
- Creating a more climate-resilient park
The effort is also in partnership with the Minnekhada Park Association, a group of park users.
In the last 24 hours, the fire line has held and firefighters from Metro Vancouver Emergency Services and BC Fire Services are putting out hot spots.
The blaze is considered to be in a "held" position, as it is not completely extinguished but is not growing either.
The park remains closed to enable crews to do their work.
Good morning from #Minnekhada Regional Park. The fire line held overnight, and ground crews are directly suppressing hotspots throughout the park. Intermittent smoke may still be seen today, especially from the cliff-side areas. pic.twitter.com/wkxt0dxrlD— MVRD Emergency Services (@metrovanemerg) October 5, 2022
Meanwhile, the foundation leading the recovery effort has a long history.
A charity dedicated to the protection, enhancement and restoration of local regional parks, the foundation has been around since 2000.
It was previously called Pacific Parklands Foundation; however, a re-brand was launched in September 2022.