Fire bans in effect in some Central Alberta counties

Thirsty soil and windy spots have forced some Central Alberta counties to issue fire bans or advisories in an effort to prevent grass and wildfires.

Thirsty soil and windy spots have forced some Central Alberta counties to issue fire bans or advisories in an effort to prevent grass and wildfires.

Red Deer County is the first in the area to issue an outright fire ban.

A release from the county issued Thursday said the ban applies to all outdoor fires presently burning in the county whether set with permission or by a permit should be extinguished immediately and no new outdoor fire in the county can be started.

However, the ban does not apply to fires contained within cooking or heating appliances and are fuelled by fluids, cases or charcoal briquettes. This includes barbecues, smokers and outdoor heaters.

Fires contained within industrial facilities for operations purposes are also allowed.

The County of Stettler has issued a fire advisory prohibiting the issuance of new fire permits. However, existing permits will be allowed to complete their burning.

Essential burning and fire pits are also permitted as long as they conform to county regulations.

The advisory was issued on April 17.

Similarly the Rocky Wildlife Management Area has had a fire advisory in effect since April 10. Fire permits have been suspended in the area, but safe campfires in campgrounds and back country or random camping areas are permitted.

Ponoka County issued a fire advisory on April 15, not issuing any new burn permits. Existing burn permits, burn barrels with screens and cooking or warming fires are still permitted. The county is asking people to use extreme caution and take into consideration the dry and windy conditions.

For more information on the ban and advisories visit www.albertafirebans.ca.