Albertans who live in or visit the province’s forested areas are reminded to take extra care this weekend as dry conditions and strong winds can fuel fast-burning wildfires.
Fire danger levels in northern Alberta have risen to high, and in some places, extreme levels.
Since the beginning of April, firefighters with Environment and Sustainable Resource Development have responded to more than 240 wildfires, all of which appear to be human-caused and therefore were 100 per cent preventable.
When enjoying a campfire in Alberta’s forested areas, make sure to use designated fire pits where available. If no campfire facilities are provided, be sure to select a site away from dry grass, heavy bush, leaves, logs and overhanging branches. Dig or scrape a pit down to mineral soil and set stones, gravel or sand around the rim to contain embers and hot ashes. Campfires should always be kept small, never left unattended, and when finished, they should be completely extinguished. To fully extinguish a campfire, soak it, stir the ashes and soak it again.
During the fire season, fire permits are required to conduct any type of burning - except lighting a campfire - within the Forest Protection Area of Alberta. These permits are free and available at any Environment and Sustainable Resource Development office and are required if you plan on using fireworks. The heightened wildfire danger in some areas has caused some fire permits to be cancelled. To find out if your fire permit has been cancelled, contact your local area office by calling 310-0000.
To report a wildfire in Alberta, call 310-FIRE (3473). For information about fire bans and forest area closures, visit www.albertafirebans.ca. During the wildfire season, keep up to date on wildfire activity in the province by liking the Alberta Wildfire Info page on Facebook and following @ABGovWildfire on Twitter.
Media inquiries may be directed to:
Wildfire Information Officer
Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development
To call toll free within Alberta dial 310-0000.