Alberta's 2017 Wildfire Season officially begins March 1st
According to the Flat Top Complex recommendations, trends are showing that wildfires are starting earlier in the year. As in the last two fire seasons, provincial fire officials are being proactive and implementing an earlier Fire Season start date of March 1st. Early preparation will enable our emergency personnel to properly coordinate firefighters and equipment.
What does this mean for you?
As of March 1st, all burning activities within Alberta's Forest Protection Area, excluding campfires, will require a fire permit. Fire permits allow the department to address winter burning projects before the spring wildfire hazard begins. Fire permits are free and available at any ESRD office. For Whitecourt and surrounding areas please call 780-778-7272.
We need your help!
At this time of year, fire officials are concerned about proper extinguishment of winter burning activities. Winter burns can go into the ground and reignite once the conditions are right. Although we are experiencing a heavy snow load in the Whitecourt area, in the spring the ground is still frozen so it does not absorb moisture as the snow melts. The grass will be extremely dry which can create a high fire hazard.
Please do your part in preventing wildfires, take the time now to revisit your winter burn sites. You could walk the burn area, roll over remaining debris and check for heat. In addition, a metal probe can be inserted into the burn pile, pulled out and checked for heat. If you find any areas still warm, extinguish the spots with water or snow, ensuring they are cool to the touch.