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 www.albertafirebans.ca 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.