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Fire bans in provincial Forest Protection Areas

A fire ban is now in place for all provincial forestry areas
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The province has brought in fire bans for the Forest Protection Areas. (File photo from Black Press News Services)

Due to hot and dry conditions leading to worsening wildfire conditions, and 137 wildfire starts since July 1, the province has brought in a fire ban affecting all Forest Protection Areas.

Since cities, towns, villages, summer villages and federal lands have the authority to put in place their own bans, they are exempt from the provincial ban.

With the ban in place, all previous fire permits previously issued by the province are either suspended or cancelled and no new permits will be issued until the ban is lifted.

Exemptions for agricultural or industrial burning can be made, at the discretion of a forestry officer.

All outdoor fires, including campfires on public and private land. including designated campgrounds, within the Forest Protection Area are prohibited. 

Charcoal briquette barbeques, fireworks and the use of exploding targets are also prohibited.

“Alberta has been experiencing difficult conditions in recent days, and the risk of new wildfire starts is extremely high throughout the province," said Todd Lowen, Minister of Forestry and Parks in the release announcing the ban.

"Now, more than ever, Albertans must work together to protect our communities and forests by remaining vigilant, spending time outdoors responsibly and avoiding activities that can cause a wildfire.”

Under the ban, propane and natural gas grills indoor wood fires contained within a tent, recreational vehicle or other structure which has a chimney and a spark arrestor may be used.

Anyone seeing a wildfire is asked to report it immediately by calling 310-FIRE. 

The release concludes noting that in the past five years "67 per cent of wildfires have been caused by human activity."