Alberta’s wildfire season officially starts March 1, bringing into effect annual restrictions on burning activities. A permit will be required for all planned fires in Alberta’s Forest Protection Area, with the exception of campfires.
“By beginning one month early, we can more effectively monitor burning activities and also ensure that our firefighters are well prepared to respond quickly when wildfires are detected,” says Oneil Carlier, minister of agriculture and forestry.
Accelerating wildfire season preparations was one of the recommendations of the Flat Top Wildfire Complex Review that followed the 2011 Slave Lake area wildfires. Training starts for wildfire crew members and leaders at Alberta Agriculture and Forestry’s training centre in Hinton, beginning in March.
Fire permits are free and can be requested at any Agriculture and Forestry office. Phone 310-0000 to locate the closest office.
Last year’s wildfire season produced 1,786 wildfires that burned more than 492,000 hectares, more than twice the 25-year average.
Albertans report about one-third of wildfires in the province. To report a wildfire, call 310-FIRE (3473). Download the Alberta wildfire mobile app for Android and Apple devices.