Part of Agri-News

Preventing wildfires is always in season

Extra vigilance is needed in the spring months to prevent human-caused wildfires.

See event listings and more articles in this edition of Agri-News: February 28, 2022 issue

‘Don’t let snow on the ground fool you,’ says Derrick Forsythe, information officer with the Alberta government. ‘Wildfires can start any time of year. In fact, we already recorded our first wildfire of the year in February.’

Wildfire danger is based on a number of factors, like the moisture content of fine fuels such as leaves, needles and small twigs. In Alberta, the hazard is historically highest in the spring months after the snow has melted and the moisture evaporated, and before trees and grass have started growing (green up).

‘We’re keeping our eyes on the spring forecast. Rain from March until the end of May can have a big impact on reducing the wildfire hazard,’ says Forsythe.

Between warmer, dryer weather and increased outdoor activity, the province sees a spike in human-caused wildfires during the spring months.

‘The majority of wildfires are started by humans. In fact last year, over 60% of wildfires in Alberta were human-caused. We all need to do our part in reducing the number of these entirely preventable fires.’

Everyone plays an active role in preventing wildfires. Whether it’s an abandoned campfire, OHV exhaust, or agricultural burning, everyone can help reduce the risk. Before you leave a fire, make sure it’s completely extinguished: soak it, stir it and soak it again.

Wildfire season runs from March 1 to October 31 in Alberta, which means fire permits are required for activities such as residential, industrial or agricultural debris burning.

Albertans living in the Forest Protection Area can get a fire permit through their local forest area office. Those living outside of the Forest Protection Area should check with their local municipality to determine the requirements for a fire permit.


For more information, contact the Provincial Information Officer:

Phone: 1-866-FYI-FIRE (394-3473)
Toll free: 310-0000 before the phone number (in Alberta)
Email: [email protected]

For media inquiries about this article:
Phone: 780-422-1005

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