Wildfire Update


Whitecourt Area Update



A mix of rain and snow combined with cooler temperatures keeps the wildfire hazard LOW in the Whitecourt Forest Area. Once the weather becomes warm and dry, large areas of dead, dry grass will once again create a significant wildfire hazard.

Consider postponing any non-essential burning or use of anoff-highway vehiclein snow-free areas until after grasses and leaves turn green.


The 2017 presentation "Wildfire Prevention for the Oil and Gas Industry" scheduled for April 11, at the Whitecourt Training Centre has been cancelled.

There is the opportunity to have wildfire prevention staff come to your work site and deliver the presentation or set up an online meeting. ContactThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Once weather conditions improve, firefighters will take advantage of the snow-free conditions and will be burning areas of dry grass in and around many communities in the Whitecourt Forest Area. Burning helps to remove hazardous areas of dead, dry grass that is prominent around many communities in the spring. Removing hazardous grass reduce the risk of fast moving spring wildfires. If you have any questions contact 780-778-7272.



Currently, there are no active wildfires in the Whitecourt Forest Area. For information on the wildfire situation across the province of Alberta, visitwildfire.alberta.ca



Crop burning should be used as a final management option for unharvested crops. Consider bailing, removing the crops from field and later burning them away from the field. 

Research has shown that burning crop residues has many negative effects. Burning reduces soil organic matter, carbon and nitrogen and can have negative effects on soil erosion, permeability and air quality. Burning disrupts the balance of microorganisms in the soil reducing the biological activity and overall soil health. Read more at agric.gov.ab.ca

If crop burning is necessary and you live in the Whitecourt Forest Area, by law you require a fire permit that will ensure safe burning practices are followed. Get your free fire permit by calling:

  • Whitecourt patrolman at 780-778-1590 or
  • Whitecourt Fire Centre at 780-778-7272. 


As of March 1, a free permit is required for all burning (except for campfires) within theForest Protection Areaof Alberta. New penalties now exist for failure to produce a fire permit when requested by a forest officer, read morehere.

Fire permits allow our wildfire managers to know where planned burns are taking place so firefighters are free to fight new wildfires.

How to get started:

  • To save time, start by preparing your burn site so that it will meet the fire permit requirements.
  • Call our office at least one week before the intended burn date.  
  • For a fire permit call the Whitecourt patrolman at 780-778-1590 or the Whitecourt Fire Centre at 780-778-7272.

Learn more aboutfire permits.

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 Enhancements to the Forest and Prairie Protection Act (FPPA) regulations include:

  • New penalties for infractions such as leaving acampfire unattended or burning without a permit
  • Restrictions on the use of fireworks or exploding targets in theForest Protection Area of Albertawithout written permission from a forest officer
  • Improvements to flammable debris disposal and other industry-based requirements
  • Activities that interfere with the fighting of a wildfire, such as the unauthorized use of drones near a wildfire, will result in an automatic court appearance

Individuals who knowingly contravene theForest and Prairie Protection Actby starting a wildfire can be fined up to $100,000 or face imprisonment for up to two years. Read morehere.

Industrial users who knowingly contravene the Act and start a wildfire can be fined up to $1 million. Read morehere.

See the full announcement or learn more here.

If you see smoke in the forest call310-FIRE(3473). 

Unless conditions change, your next wildfire update will be on April 21, 2017.

Shannon Stambaugh
Wildfire Information Officer
Whitecourt Forest Area
Mobile: 780.706.5336
Email:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Stay current on Alberta's wildfire situation, download the Alberta Wildfire mobile app for Android or Apple products. You can also join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
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Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development

Dry Grass Hazard | Whitecourt Forest Area

By Shannon Stambaugh, Apr 15, 2016 11:52:29 AM


Wildfire Hazard 

The wildfire hazard is MODERATE for the Whitecourt Forest Area Forest Area. Patches of dry grass and branches can catch fire quickly - easily growing into a wildfire. Use caution when working or recreating in these areas.

Call 310-FIRE if you see smoke in the forest.



Fire Advisory in Effect 

As of April 8, 2016 a Fire Advisory has been declared in the Whitecourt Forest Area. Fire permits for heavy fuels (i.e. brush piles, windrows and root piles) will not be issued until conditions improve.

A free fire permit is required for any burning (except campfires) within the Forest Protection Area. New permits will be issued depending on site prepartion and matierls to be burnt.

Safe campfires are still allowed.

If you are within the Whitecourt Forest Area and need a fire permit call 780-778-7272. 

Burning activities may become restricted in the coming days if conditions worsen. For more information on Fire Advisories, Restrictions or Bans across the province, visit AlbertaFirebans.ca.


Wildfire Update

Whitecourt Forest Area | April 15 @ 1100hrs

In the past 24 hours there was one new wildfire in the Whitecourt Forest Area, it has been turned over to the responsible party. 

Since April 1, 2016 there have been five wildfires that have burned 1.44 hectares. 

Provincial Update | April 15 @ 1100hrs

  • In the past 24 hours there have been four new wildfires. One is under control, one has been turned over to the responsible party, and two have been extinguished.
  • Alberta currently has eight wildfires. Four are under control and four have been turned over to the responsible party.
  • Since April 1, 2016, Alberta has recorded 99 wildfires that have burned a total of 132.32 hectares.

For information on wildfires across the province, visit Wildfire.Alberta.ca


Photo: Over the next few weeks, firefighters will be burning areas of dry grass in and around communities in the Whitecourt Forest Area. Burning helps to remove the build-up of dry grass that is characteristic of spring.


Wildfires Are Exhausting...

If you are using an off-highway vehicle, stop and check your machine regularly for the build-up of grass and other flammable material. Learn more:



Unless conditions change, you can expect your next update on April 22, 2016.


Shannon Stambaugh | Wildfire Information Officer

Whitecourt Forest Area

email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
office: 780.778.7273 | mobile: 780.706.5336




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