(Advocate new services photo).

High wildfire risk in Rocky area

Public precautions are needed to prevent more blazes

The danger of wildfire in the Rocky Mountain House forest area is now considered HIGH.

The Rocky Forest Area remains under a Fire Advisory as conditions in the area have dried up with warmer temperatures.

Existing fire permits remain valid, but are subject to suspension or cancellation. New fire permits will be issued on a case-by-case basis.

What is allowed: Safe wood campfires in campgrounds (within fire rings), backyards, or random camping areas. Charcoal briquettes, and portable propane fire pits are allowed.

Gas or propane stoves and barbecues are also allowed, as are catalytic or infrared-style heaters.

But Central Albertans are cautioned that off-highway vehicles can start wildfires. Users of ATVs are asked to check frequently to ensure hot spots are free of debris, and make sure mufflers and spark arrestors are working properly.

The Fire Advisory will remain in effect until conditions improve.

“Remember that safe burning practices are always in season. If you are heading out in the forested areas of the province and you have a campfire, soak the ashes, stir them, and soak them again until they are cool to the touch,” states the wildfire information officer for the Rocky Forest Area.

Since March 1, 25 wildfires have started in the Rocky Mountain House area, burning a total of 12.81 hectares. These fires have all been extinguished.

For more information, please call 780-420-1968, or visit wildfireinfo@gov.ab.ca.

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