Rose Loe, an elder, adds that, “Fire, used properly, is a friend, not an enemy. We have this notion of ‘put out the fire,’ like, ‘don’t let the fire spread,’ and that’s interfering with not just the bison, but our use of the land.”

According to CBC, wood bison in the region were wiped out in the 1990’s, with a few surviving in the Northwest Territories. A small herd was relocated to northeast B.C. 20 years ago, but they strayed and now graze along the Alaska Highway.

Sevarkus hopes that the controlled burning will create a more open landscape to try and get the bison to come back home.

To read the full article by CBC and watch a mini documentary, click here.