The impacts of the 2023 season showed Albertans the importance of a collective approach to dealing with disaster. Alberta is experiencing warmer than normal temperatures and below average precipitation in many areas of the province, leading to heightened wildfire risk. To better direct resources to new and existing wildfires, Alberta has declared an early start to the 2024 wildfire season.

Declaring the beginning of the 2024 wildfire season provides additional measures to Alberta Wildfire, including the use of the fire ban and restriction system to help reduce human-caused wildfires in response to hazardous conditions. Furthermore, any Albertan who has burning planned in the Forest Protection Area will require a permit.

“Alberta’s government will face the coming wildfire season head on, and we will do whatever is necessary to help Albertans and their communities stay safe from the impacts of wildfire. I want to encourage Albertans to remain vigilant and recreate responsibly.”

Todd Loewen, Minister of Forestry and Parks

In addition to the early declaration, Forestry and Parks is preparing for additional firefighters. If passed, Budget 2024 will include funding to hire 100 new firefighters, which will result in five additional 20-person crews. These additional firefighters would be a critical addition to the Alberta Wildfire team.

“Wildfire prevention is a responsibility shared by all Albertans. I encourage everyone to follow FireSmart principles, to recreate responsibly while in or near forested areas, to obtain a fire permit prior to burning and to download the Alberta Wildfire app for up-to-date and accurate information.”

Bernie Schmitte, executive director, Alberta Wildfire

As the province has entered the 2024 wildfire season, Alberta’s government encourages all Albertans to become familiar with FireSmart principles and to take an active role in wildfire prevention and mitigation by preparing their properties and communities accordingly.

Albertans are urged to exercise extreme caution in forested areas and to avoid burning under warm, dry and windy conditions. It is also crucial that Albertans remain up to date on fire bans and restrictions in their areas to reduce the risk of human-caused wildfires, which represented more than 60 per cent of wildfires this past season.

Alberta’s government continues working hard to enhance wildfire prevention, preparedness, response and mitigation tactics. Alberta will employ enhanced nighttime wildfire operations, including ground suppression efforts and using night-vision equipped helicopters and nighttime heli-tanking.

Quick facts

  • The seven disciplines of the FireSmart program include:
    • public education
    • interagency cooperation
    • cross-training
    • emergency planning
    • development
    • legislation
    • vegetation management

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