When it comes to fighting wildfires, timing is everything – the earlier we can get to a wildfire, the better. Our wildlife lookouts and lightning mapping system help us do this – but we can’t have eyes everywhere at once.
That’s why it’s so important to call 310-FIRE (3473) if you spot a wildfire. In the past five years, over 5,000 Albertans have called the number – and 1,000 of these calls have helped us locate wildfires.
When you call in a wildfire, you’re our eyes and ears on the ground. Here are the details our dispatchers are looking for – check them out so that you’ll be prepared if you ever need to make the call.
We need to know where the fire is. Depending on where you are, this might include:
- An address – GPS coordinates or a legal land description, but even an intersection will do!
- Whether the fire is near a road or community
- Landmarks – like a well site, a campground, or a lake
- Any other details you can provide to help pinpoint the location
We need info about how the fire is burning – this helps ensure we’re prepared to fight it when we arrive.
- What is burning – Grass? Trees? Is it on agricultural land?
- How fast is the fire spreading – is it stationary? If it’s moving, is it slower or faster than a normal walking speed?
- What color is the smoke – is it light grey? Dark grey to black?
- How thick is the smoke – light or heavy?
Any other relevant information about the situation that you can provide is helpful.
- What’s in the immediate area – people? Property?
- Is road access available to the area, or is it blocked?
- Do you see any clues to what started the fire – like a campfire, off-highway vehicles, or lightning?
- Is water readily available at the scene?
We also appreciate it if you can provide your contact information for any follow-up questions we might have.
Calling 310-FIRE is quick and easy: it’s available 24/7, toll-free. So if you see a wildfire or suspicious smoke – no matter where or when it happens – we hope you’ll make the call.
Want up-to-date info on the wildfire risk in your area? Click here to download the Alberta Wildfire app for iOS and Android.