While fireworks can be a fun, enjoyable way to celebrate in the summer, they can also come with a hefty price tag if you inadvertently start a wildfire. Written permission is required to use fireworks or exploding targets in the Forest Protection Area of Alberta year-round.

‘While fun, exploding targets and fireworks can also cause unintentional wildfires. It’s important to know the facts before you purchase them,’ says Melissa Story, provincial information officer with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry.

Legislative changes in 2017 prohibited the use of fireworks and exploding targets without written permission from a Forest Officer. The debris caused when fireworks and exploding targets are detonated are hot and risk causing a wildfire when they come into contact with fuels in the forest, such as dry grass.

‘So far this season, we’ve seen 2 unintentional wildfires started by exploding targets,’ says Story. ‘The ground is dry right now and wildfires can ignite easily and spread very fast in dead, dry grasses. If you are found to be responsible for starting a wildfire, you may have to pay a $600 fine or worse, the cost of fighting the wildfire.’

Last year 88% of wildfires were human-caused and these are completely preventable.

Anyone who wishes to use these items should contact their local Agriculture and Forestry office for more information. Visit wildfire.alberta.ca for additional information.

Contact

For more information, contact the Provincial Information Officer:

Hours: 8:15 am to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)
Phone: 780-420-1968
Toll free: 310-0000 before the phone number (in Alberta)
Email: [email protected]

For media inquiries about this article, call Alberta Agriculture and Forestry’s media line:

Phone: 780-422-1005

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