Vigilance key as wildfire season ends

A wildfire west of Nordegg was discovered in July and is listed as under control at 480 hectares. (Photo via Alberta Wildfire)

A wildfire west of Nordegg was discovered in July and is listed as under control at 480 hectares. (Photo via Alberta Wildfire)

More than half of Alberta’s wildfires in 2022 were human-caused, according to Alberta Forestry, Parks and Tourism.

In the 2022 wildfire season, 56 per cent of wildfires were caused by human activity, around 38 per cent were caused by lightning and roughly six per cent are still under investigation.

While the wildfire season in the province officially ended on Oct. 31, officials still ask Albertans to be cautious as the threat of wildfires lingers in the province.

“Diligence this summer resulted in a more than 10 per cent decrease in human-caused wildfires and we recorded fewer wildfires than the previous year overall,” said Todd Loewen, Minister of Forestry, Parks and Tourism.

“Wildfire staff work tirelessly keeping our forests safe and it’s great to see that their efforts have been supported by the public’s responsible behaviour. We’re not out of the woods yet, though – warm, dry fall conditions in some parts of the province mean that it’s still important for folks to stay alert to risks. Preventing wildfire is the duty of all Albertans.”

Overall this year, a total of 1,254 wildfires burned about 153,124 hectares. This is compared with the five-year average (2017-2021) of 1,110 wildfires burning more than 190,000 hectares.

Alberta was able to aid firefighting efforts in British Columbia, the Northwest Territories, Yukon, Alaska and Washington, and supported Parks Canada and the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre. The province sent 90 firefighters, overhead staff and aircraft to partner agencies in need.

According to the Alberta government, since January 1, there have been 78 wildfires in the Rocky Mountain House Forest Area which have burned 557 hectares.

RWF075 was detected on October 20, 2022 and is classified as being held at 35 ha. The wildfire is approximately 10km east of Abraham Lake.

The Black Mountain Fire was discovered on July 19 and is located 19 km west of Nordegg. It is classified as under control, at 480 hectares.

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