Keeping Alberta Affordable: Eligible seniors and families with children under 18 can apply for $600 affordability payments. Learn more and apply now
Fire lookouts and bear conflict
127 wildfire lookout sites are located throughout Alberta's boreal forest and along the Rocky Mountains. Each site is staffed by a lookout observer whose job is to watch for wildfire all day, each day, generally from April to October.
Wildfire lookout sites are isolated and the staff that work them must be prepared for a wide range of possibilities, including an encounter with a curious bear.
To help prevent conflict with bears, Wildfire staff with Agriculture and Forestry have adopted a number of Alberta BearSmart recommendations for many of their sites, key amongst them is the installation of electric fencing.
Electric fencing and bear deterrence
Electric fencing has been shown to deter bears, reducing the chance of immediate conflict between people and the bear and teaching the bear to stay away from people and their things in the future.
Permanent electric fencing has been installed at priority wildfire lookout sites, enclosing the residences, lookout towers, outhouses and generator buildings. Materials for the fence were selected for their portability and ease of repair.
High visibility painting on the fence posts alert backcountry visitors to be cautious year-long. In winter, the fence is de-energized and the wires lowered to ground. This helps prevent potential entanglement and injury to wildlife as well as reduces the likelihood of snowpack damage to the fence.
Was this page helpful?
You will NOT receive a reply on your feedback. Do NOT include personal information. To get answers to questions, use Alberta Connects.
Your submissions are monitored by our web team and are used to help improve the experience on Alberta.ca.