Edson Area Update

Edson Forest Area - Wildfire Update - January 5, 2021

Posted on Tue, Jan 05, 2021


Be advised that many areas have very little snow and dry exposed grass could easily ignite.  We ask that you monitor forecasted winds, weather and your burns closely.  Always ensure you have sufficient tools on site.

Once you've completed your burning, ensure you fully extinguish your piles. If fires aren’t properly put out, they can spread and burn underground, under the snow and ice, all winter. Under the right conditions, these fires can re-emerge in the spring as wildfires. 

If you see smoke or flame and suspect it's a wildfire, call 310-FIRE.

1 Jan 5 MPB GalleriesThe larvae of Mountain Pine Beetle have very distinctive "J" shaped galleries and live under the bark during the winter months.


The wildfire danger in the Edson Forest Area remains LOW.  There are currently no active wildfires in the area.  

Of the 59 wildfires in our area this wildfire season, six of these wildfires were caused by lightning and 53 were human-caused which means 90% of wildfires in the EFA were caused by human activity.  

We would like to thank the public for their patience during the fire ban that was in effect last spring. We are also grateful for your diligence in extinguishing your campfires and reporting any suspected wildfires to 310-FIRE.

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


Government-hired contractors are currently doing mountain pine beetle (MPB) survey and control in the forest until the end of March.  For more information on MPB, strategies and preventing the spread, click here to visit our website.

1 Support Photo MPB Burning



The lower fire hazard in winter normally means it is a safer time to consider doing your burns. There are still some necessary precautions to take before burning, like monitoring the weather to ensure smoke from your burn won’t negatively impact surrounding areas.

Inversions and other weather factors can cause smoke from a winter burn to stay close to the ground and travel great distances. An inversion happens when cold air is trapped near the ground by a layer of warmer air above it. Inversions can cause dangerous driving conditions and impact nearby communities.

When burning in winter:

  • Refrain from burning when an inversion is in place or is forecasted.
  • Consult local municipalities or Agriculture and Forestry on how to mitigate impacts when undertaking larger winter burning projects near communities or roadways.
  • Actively manage burn projects to reduce disposal time and smoke impacts.  Continually re-pile if needed.
  • Burning debris in stages will allow you to adapt to changing weather conditions and reduce smoke.
  • Monitor weather conditions: lower temperatures and lighter wind speeds can result in stronger inversions. The ideal conditions for burning are typically days with no inversions, average temperatures and wind speeds over 5 km/h.
  • Ensure good snow cover in the burn area (more than 15 cm).

Smoke Inversion


Fire permits are only required between March 1st and October 31st and therefore you are not currently required to contact Alberta Wildfire when burning, however we appreciate the information in the event that smoke is reported by the public.  

To assist the Edson Forest Area, please report your winter burning by contacting the dispatch line directly (780) 723-8507 with the following:

  • name of landowner burning or company and representative name
  • phone number in case of emergency
  • legal land description or latitude/longitude

Following safe burning practices during this period will help prevent holdover fires that can start spring wildfires. Although the snow helps reduce the risk of the fire burning into the ground, we recommend that you check all fall and winter burn sites to ensure that the fire is out. Walk the burn area and roll over any debris to check for hot spots.

Here are a few things to consider when burning this winter:

  • Ensure that you have the proper tools with you at any burn site.
  • Be aware of forecasted wind conditions.  Wind can pick up sparks or embers and start a wildfire if the conditions are right.
  • As with any burning, do not attempt to burn more than you can control.
  • Frequently check your burns, especially in the spring.  A smoldering fire can burrow under the ground and re-surface months later. 
  • If you have any questions about proper burning procedures, visit wildfire.alberta.ca or phone 310-0000.

You can refer to the Brush Piles and Windrows Pamphlet for more information and safe burning practices.


Get your applications ready!  FireSmart Canada is now accepting applications for the #WildfirePrepDay 2021.  Receive $500 to help educate your community about #FireSmart best practices, and make a difference in your region. 

To learn more, visit the FireSmart Canada website: bit.ly/WildfirePrepDay2021



Albertans are always asked to use caution when working or recreating in the outdoors:  


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For more information, please contact:

Caroline Charbonneau
Wildfire Information Officer | Edson Forest Area
Cell:  780-740-1341