Albertans Reminded To Be Safe As Wildfire Season Starts March 1

Albertans are being reminded to be extra careful to help prevent wildfires in forested areas.

Wildfire season starts on March 1, 2017. According to the Alberta Government, more than 60 per cent of the 1,338 wildfires last year were caused by human activity. They burned more than 611,000 hectares, including the Horse River wildfire that spread into Fort McMurray.

“Protecting Albertans from the threat of wildfire is one of our highest priorities. That’s why we legislated March 1 as the start of fire season, recognizing that recent trends show wildfires are starting earlier in the spring. The wildfire that burned into Fort McMurray last year serves as a reminder of how important it is for us to be ready to respond to wildfires at a moment’s notice,” said Oneil Carlier, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, in a release.

The new Forest and Prairie Protection Act increases penalties for abandoning campfires or burning during fire bans and improves the government’s ability to restrict higher-risk activities, such as fireworks and incendiary targets during hazardous fire conditions.

Tips to prevent a wildfire

  • Make sure your campfire is out – soak it, stir it, and soak it again
  • Keep an eye on any winter burning

Fire permits will be required for any burning, outside of campfires, in the Forest Protection Area of Alberta at the start of the season, so firefighters can address any winter burning before the spring.

Residents can report a fire by calling 310-FIRE (3473). These calls ensure fire crews can respond as quickly as possible. To learn more about what more you can do to prevent wildfires, go to the Alberta Wildfire webpage or download the Alberta wildfire mobile app for Android and Apple devices.

-Posted by CW