It’s been a wet spring in some parts of the province – but that doesn’t mean that we’re out of the woods when it comes to fire season. Due to a combination of high winds and little rain, the fire hazard level is now high in central and northern areas of the province.
What this means for you
It’s your responsibility to be aware of the fire hazard in your area before you burn – even if you have a permit. To give you as much information as possible on potential fire bans, the province has updated its system.
When an area’s fire hazard begins to climb, a fire advisory can be issued. This means your permit may be suspended or it may even be cancelled. Each advisory will vary depending on the current situation, so it’s important to check the details in your area. Remember: any burning in Alberta’s Forest Protection Area requires a permit during fire season – the only exceptions are campfires.
If the fire hazard continues to rise, a fire restriction or fire ban can be issued – which means that even campfires can be restricted or prohibited. In extreme situations, a fire ban may be upgraded to a forest area closure where no forest access is permitted for public safety reasons.
Here’s a breakdown of the fire ban system’s five levels:
You can check for fire bans for your area 24/7 at albertafirebans.ca.
Help us minimize the risk
Last year, more than 900 wildfires in Alberta were caused by human activity. No matter where you are in the province, you can take some simple steps to minimize risk when you’re out and about this weekend:
- Put it out. Know these three steps for building and extinguishing a campfire safely.
- Check for hot spots. If you’re taking out an ATV or other off-highway vehicle, remember to check your vehicle’s hot spots and take steps to prevent a wildfire.
- Report it. If you see a wildfire, you can call 310-FIRE (3473) 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The sooner we know about a fire, the sooner we can start fighting it.