Wildland firefighters, supported airtankers and other specialized equipment are ready for the wildfire season ahead, says the Government of Alberta.
In a news release issued Monday, the provincial government declared it is prepared for the wildfire season, which runs from March 1 to Oct. 31 in Alberta.
“As folks look forward to enjoying Alberta’s wonderful outdoor spaces over the months ahead, we’re focussed on keeping communities safe,” said Todd Loewen, minister of Forestry, Parks and Tourism.
“Alberta Wildfire has leading-edge firefighting resources positioned across the province, ready to respond to new wildfires as they arise, and continues to test and implement emerging tools and innovation designed to increase our wildfire management capabilities. It’s important that everyone plays an active role preventing wildfires from starting.”
The provincial government warns that nearly all spring wildfires in Alberta are human-caused, meaning they are 100 per cent preventable.
The spring wildfire hazard is highest after seasonal melting has left fuels like trees and grasses extremely dry and flammable. Under these conditions, wildfire can ignite easily and spread quickly.
During the 2022 wildfire season, Alberta recorded 1,246 wildfires that burned 130,858 hectares. Sixty-one per cent of those wildfires were human-caused.
While it is too early to predict what the 2023 wildfire season will look like, spring rainfall will have a significant impact on what can be expected, the provincial government states.
“At any time of year, Alberta Wildfire’s online dashboard is the trusted source for real-time wildfire information,” the government stated.
“During the high-hazard time in spring, and throughout the wildfire season, it is critical that people take care to fully extinguish campfires, frequently check off-highway vehicles for smouldering debris and conduct agriculture burning projects safely.”
Fire permits are free and are required during wildfire season for activities like residential, industrial or agricultural debris burning within the Forest Protection Area.
Those living or operating a business within the FPA can obtain their fire permit online at firepermits.alberta.ca or by calling their local forest area office. Those outside the FPA can contact their local municipality to ask about fire permit requirements.
To report a wildfire, call 310-FIRE (310-3473) toll-free, from anywhere in Alberta. Up-to-date information on fire advisories, restrictions, bans and OHV restrictions is available at albertafirebans.ca or by calling 1-866-394-3473.
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