Wildfire Update

 

 

Whitecourt Area Update

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Hazard Reduction Burn to occur near town of Whitecourt

Alberta Agriculture and Forestry along with the Whitecourt Fire Department will be conducting a hazard reduction burn just east of the town of Whitecourt. The hazard reduction burn is scheduled to take place during the spring of 2020. Ignition will only take place when weather conditions are conductive to burning, and when safe to do so. Spring hazard reduction burning will enhance community protection by safely removing high-risk areas of grass vegetation, reinforce pre-planned wiildfire containment lines surrounding the town of Whitecourt, reduce the risk of a wildfire igniting from the use of Off-Highway (OHV) / Utility vehicles (UHV) in the area and increase firefighting training and cooperation between the Whitecourt Fire Department and Government of Alberta firefighters. The burn may take up to 3 days to complete depending on conditions.

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Wildfire Update - April 24, 2020

The wildfire danger rating for the Whitecourt Forest Area is MODERATE. There are currently one wildfires currently burning in the area. This wildfire is 0.10 hectares in size, and has been turned over to the responsible parties.

Since March 1, there has been one wildfire in the Whitecourt Forest Area.

Since March 1 in the Forest Protection Area of Alberta, there have been 20 wildfires burning a total of 1.3 hectares.

For more information on the current wildfire situation across the province of Alberta, visit wildfirestatus.alberta.ca.

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FIRE BAN IN EFFECT

There is a fire ban in place inside the Forest Protection Area of Alberta, as well as in Alberta provincial parks and protected areas, until further notice.

Fire permits are suspended or cancelled. Some allowances can be made for essential agricultural and industrial burning, but will need to be approved by a forest officer.


Prohibited
• Safe wood campfires on public lands.
• Safe wood campfires on private land and provincial campgrounds.
• Backyard firepits, and
• Barbeques with charcoal briquettes.

Allowed
• Propane / natural gas powered appliances
• Open flame CSA approved oil devices
• Wood fires in an enclosed facility or device, which have a chimney with a spark arrestor
• OHVs

** All devices must be CSA approved and used as per manufacturer standards. An enclosed facility or device is one that is fully contained with a chimney that has a spark arrestor. Users are still responsible for care and attendance of all devices and should reduce their use during fire restrictions and bans. Approved activities or devices will not prevent potential prosecution or litigation if the user or device starts a wildfire.

OHV Usage

With snow still on the ground the fire danger level is low. There are no off-highway vehicle restrictions currently in place in the Forest Protection area. As of right now, all Albertans may enjoy using their off-highway vehicles, including snow machines, on public land until conditions change.

An off-highway vehicle restriction in the Forest Protection Area will be reintroduced if there is an increase in the hazard level. This phased approach will allow us to address the wildfire risk area-by-area, allowing Albertans the freedom to enjoy the outdoors as much as possible. We will re-evaluate daily.

These steps are part of a number of actions the department is implementing to help mitigate wildfire risks during the COVID-19 pandemic. Taking action in advance to reduce the number of human-caused wildfires will allow Alberta Wildfire to make the best possible use of resources when the availability of firefighters could be reduced because of the pandemic.


Alberta Agriculture and Forestry will be monitoring conditions, including the availability of firefighting crews and resources during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Fire Ban will remain in effect until conditions improve.

Please visit AlbertaFireBans.ca for a map of the affected area.

For more information, please contact: 


Phone: 1-866-394-3473

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