After a record-breaking wildfire season, mushroom pickers in areas affected by the Shovel Lake and Island Lake wildfires could be putting the recovering land at risk.

Lori Borth Resource Manager with the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development said after the wildfires the first thing to return is the mushrooms.

“When wildfires go through the area there is usually a large amount of tree cover and vegetation burned away so the soil is exposed and it can need time to recover.”

She said the influx of both commercial a recreational pickers bring with them garbage and a lot of foot traffic.

The Ministry is working with local Nadleh Whuten, Stellaten First Nation to protect the land and make sure the areas stay clean.

However, Borth said if the area is to recover everyone planning on mushroom picking need to respect the land.

“They can be respectful by making sure to clean up the garage, making sure they respect people that are camped, and making sure they follow any procedures set up.”

Information and safety tips for picking mushrooms in wildfire-affected areas is available on the Ministry’s website.