Fire bans lifted across much of the region

Fire bans were lifted for the Rocky Forest Area and many Central Alberta communities and counties thanks to recent precipitation.

Fire bans were lifted for the Rocky Forest Area and many Central Alberta communities and counties thanks to recent precipitation.

Off-highway vehicle restrictions were also lifted for the Rocky Forest Area that stretches south to Red Deer River, north to Brazeau River and west to the national parks.

Kristofer Heemeryck, Wildfire prevention officer for the Rocky Mountain House Wildfire Management Area, said precipitation received so far will make things better at least for the short term.

“It definitely knocks the hazard down. We’ve changed the wildfire hazard to low and it will remain that way until we go back into a dry, warming trend,” Heemeryck said on Friday.

“The moisture has been scattered. But the average for our forest area was 20 mm with more forecast over the next couple of days. That’s almost an inch.”

There were no fires burning in the Rocky area as of Friday. But he reminded people they still need to practise fire safety in regards to their campfires.

“Make sure they’re not unattended and thoroughly out before you leave. Soak it. Stir it. Soak it again. Diligence is key.”

Elsewhere in Central Alberta, fire bans were lifted in the City of Red Deer and towns of Penhold, Blackfalds, Innisfail, Rocky Mountain House, Sylvan Lake, Ponoka, and Clearwater, Lacombe and Red Deer Counties.

Alberta Health Services (AHS) lifted the precautionary air quality advisory issued May 12 for the entire Central Zone of AHS now that the zone was no longer impacted by smoke from wildfires in northern Alberta.

AHS said forecasting suggests that the improved air quality conditions will be sustained, but Albertans were reminded that air quality can vary with weather conditions and prevailing winds.

Information about the air quality in many areas of Alberta is updated regularly at www.airquality.alberta.ca and also available toll-free at 1-877-247-7333.

The fire ban and off-highway vehicle restrictions remained in effect for the Lac La Biche and Fort McMurray Forest Areas of northeastern Alberta.

szielinski@bprda.wpengine.com

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