Alberta bans off-highway vehicles on public land in south due to wildfire threat

Alberta is banning the use of off-highway vehicles on forested public lands in the southern half of the province due to the extreme threat of wildfires.

The province is worried such vehicles could easily spark a fire in tinder dry trees and brush near communities south of the Red Deer River.

This region has been under a fire ban since last week and there were serious wildfires in the area in 2003.

Forestry Minister Oneil Carlier says southern Alberta is as dry as parts of British Columbia, where more than 100 fires are burning and thousands of people have been forced from their homes.

He says his department is monitoring the threat in Alberta and has crews ready to pounce if any fires break out.

But Carlier says with more hot, dry weather in the forecast, prevention is key.

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