Campgrounds packed in spite of fire ban

Two out of three nice days is a figure Bill Dodds and his family will take when camping by a lake.

Central Alberta campgrounds were fully booked on the weekend in spite of a province-wide fire ban

Central Alberta campgrounds were fully booked on the weekend in spite of a province-wide fire ban

GULL LAKE — Two out of three nice days is a figure Bill Dodds and his family will take when camping by a lake.

The Leduc-area family were packing up in preparation to leave Monday morning after a night of steady rain.

“We were leaving later today anyway so heading out now makes more sense because the weather is lousy and we hope to beat the traffic,” said Dodds.

However, the first two days coupled with Friday evening when they pulled into the Aspen Beach campground were terrific, he said.

“The water is still pretty cold but you could walk in it up to your ankles at least,” he laughed.

The campground was one of two in Central Alberta which banned liquor this weekend.

“No booze or fire I guess is a bummer for some people, but when you have little kids, it’s a nice way to spend a weekend knowing that the place will be mostly quiet,” Dodds said.

The open fire ban, which was in place at all provincial parks, and a no booze policy didn’t sit well with some people though.

Nellie Jamieson, 24, and her friend Amy Schoenweis, 22, of the Rimbey area managed to smile a little at the weather.

“What’s camping without a fire even?” she asked.

“We sure could have used a fire last night to stay a little warm when it started to get cold but no dice with the park people who kept a good eye on everyone,” Jamieson said.

The province-wide fire ban of May 17, was still in effect and will be until further notice, Rita Stagman, a forestry information officer with Alberta Sustainable Resource Development, said on Monday afternoon.

Central and northern Alberta continues to experience high fire hazards.

While some areas of the province are still very wet or snowy due to the heavy snowpack or have received rain this weekend, the fire ban will is in effect.

She also said provincial firefighting resources are fully utilized right now, as crews battle the wildfires in central and northern Alberta.

“We can’t afford to add to the risk of more wildfires at this time.”

Gas or propane stoves approved for cooking were allowed only at camp sites. The ban prohibited the use of all wood, briquette and natural fires including those in pits.

For more information check on the Internet.

Locally, the Clearwater Area in the West Country currently has five active fires — all under control. Over the past few days, crews were able to completely extinguish six fires plus any new starts.

During the weekend, there were three new starts but they were extinguished quickly.

The Willesden Complex is about 25 km north of Rocky Mountain House.

Crews have been able to extinguish two of the fires within the complex and are making good progress on the remaining four., she added.

The original six fires within the complex burnt an area totalling about 816 hectares.

The wildfires that hit northwest of Rocky on May 14 didn’t upset plans for campers this long weekend.

The fire forced the evacuation of cabin residents and campers briefly, and winds toppled a number of trees.

Bertha Taks, an employee at Crimson Lake Provincial Park, said this weekend campground reservations were fully booked, and it’s now business as usual.

Const. Sabrina Caterini, who just came on duty Monday at Sylvan Lake RCMP detachment, said Monday was a slow day because of the weather.

She said the previous few days appeared to be steady work for the members.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Alberta vaccine rollout expanding to front-line health-care workers

More than 240,000 eligible health-care workers can begin booking vaccine appointments starting… Continue reading

File photo
The Red Deer Rebels will have three new assistant coaches when the WHL regular season starts on Friday. Brad Flynn (left), will be on the bench alongside fellow assistant Ryan Colville (right) head coach Brent Sutter (middle). (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)
Sutter steps down as Red Deer Rebels head coach

Red Deer Rebels Owner, GM and head coach Brent Sutter has stepped… Continue reading

Premier Jason Kenney announced $200 million more money that will benefit seniors living in continuing care on Wednesday. (photography by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Alberta’s in-school rapid screening test program expanding

Alberta’s in-school rapid screening test program will expand to as many as… Continue reading

Parents and students learned Tuesday what the coming school year will look like. It's pretty much back to business as usual, said Education Minister Adriana LaGrange. School precautions include frequent cleaning, keeping students in the same groups where possible, planning the school day to allow for physical distancing and staying home when sick. (photography by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Alberta’s largest school board says no to United Conservative draft school curriculum

CALGARY — Alberta’s largest school board says it will not use the… Continue reading

Red Deer-South MLA Jason Stephan is among those who have signed an open letter criticizing the government’s return to stricter health measures. (Advocate file photo).
Updated: Kenney tells UCP caucus COVID-19 dissent OK, breaking health rules means expulsion

15 MLAs released letter on Wednesday critical of new health restrictions

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau watches a speaker appear by videoconference during a news conference in Ottawa, Friday, April 9, 2021. Grassroots Liberals have overwhelmingly endorsed a resolution calling on the federal government to develop and implement a universal basic income — despite Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's apparent lack of enthusiasm for the idea. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau winds up Liberal convention with election campaign-style speech

OTTAWA — Justin Trudeau wound up a three-day Liberal convention Saturday with… Continue reading

Team Canada skip Brendan Bottcher makes a shot against Italy at the Men's World Curling Championships in Calgary, Alta., Tuesday, April 6, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Men’s world curling championship in Calgary in COVID limbo

CALGARY — The men’s world curling championship in Calgary remained suspended Saturday… Continue reading

Pipes intended for construction of the Keystone XL pipeline are shown in Gascoyne, N.D. on Wednesday April 22, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Alex Panetta
Non-profit Quebec law centre to aid environmental group targeted by Alberta oil firm

QUEBEC — The Quebec Environmental Law Centre is coming to the aid… Continue reading

Conservative leader Erin O'Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, April 6, 2020. Top Tory leaders of past and present will speak with supporters today about what a conservative economic recovery from COVID-19 could look like. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Conservatives cite empathy, relationships as ways to help expand their movement

OTTAWA — Conservatives should show empathy with Black residents who say they’ve… Continue reading

NDP Leader John Horgan celebrates his election win in the British Columbia provincial election in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020. New Democrats are reconvening for the second day of a three-day policy convention as they look to push past the glitches of the virtual event's opening sessions and rally around keynote speaker John Horgan. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
New Democrats reconvene as hiccups, frustrations plague national policy convention

OTTAWA — New Democrats reconvened Saturday for the second day of a… Continue reading

FILE - In this Monday, Oct. 23, 2017 file photo, President Donald Trump speaks during a joint statement with Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington. Former President Donald Trump plans to affirm his commitment to the Republican Party — and raise the possibility that someone else will be the GOP's next presidential nominee — in a closed-door speech to donors Saturday night, April 10, 2021. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)
Trump in 2024? He says only that ‘a Republican’ will win

PALM BEACH, Fla. — Former President Donald Trump plans to affirm his… Continue reading

A cruise ship sits docked waiting for passengers to be evacuated in Kingstown, on the eastern Caribbean island of St. Vincent, Friday, April 9, 2021 due to the eruption of La Soufriere volcano. (AP Photo/Orvil Samuel)
Ash-covered St. Vincent braces for more volcanic eruptions

KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent — People who ignored an initial warning to evacuate… Continue reading

Owner of 4 Point Taekwondo Kevin Mejia holds a board as organizer and martial artist Kevin Olsen breaks it in Edmonton on Friday, April 9, 2021. One hundred martial artists from around the world, will be breaking a board for an event called "Break for a Breakthrough." The idea is for martial artists to unite and re-engage with the arts because they may have drifted away or lost enthusiasm as a result of the pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Break for a Breakthrough: Canadian hosts international martial arts demonstration

EDMONTON — Whether he’s breaking a wooden board, a clay tile, cement… Continue reading

Most Read