Fort McMurray Area Update

Fire Advisory in Effect - Fort McMurray Forest Area - May 23, 2017

Posted on Tue, May 23, 2017

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Wildfire Danger

The Fort McMurray Forest Area has a VERY HIGH fire danger rating in the south and has dropped to a HIGH danger rating north of Lake Athabasca with the help of some light precipitation. Strong winds in the south are contributing to the VERY HIGH danger in the area. 

The Fire Advisory is still in effect for the entire Fort McMurray Forest Area

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Fire Advisory in Effect Monday, May 22, 2017

Due to current and forecasted weather conditions, the Fire Advisory remains in place for the entire Fort McMurray Forest Area.

  • Valid permits are suspended and no new permits will be issued
  • Caution should be exercised during windy conditions
  • Small, safe cooking and warming campfires are allowed when winds are calm

Remember never to leave your campfire unattended and make sure it is extinguished. Soak it, stir it and soak it again until it's cool to the touch.

Report wildfires immediately by calling 310-FIRE (3473). 


Visit www.albertafirebans.ca for information on the Fire Advisory and to view the map. 


Wildfire Situation Reports

Since March 1, 2017, the Fort McMurray Forest Area has recorded 11 wildfires with a total area burned of 19.8 hectares. One wildfire is currently under control and 10 have been extinguished.

Since March 1, 2017, Alberta has recorded 332 wildfires in the Forest Protection Area that have burned a total of 764 hectares. There are currently 10 wildfires in the Forest Protection Area of Alberta. Six wildfires are under control and 4 have been turned over to the responsible parties.

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.


Better wildfire protection with funding boost

The Alberta government is providing $15 million a year for its FireSmart program, up from $3.8 million last year, to help communities boost their wildfire protection activities.

The FireSmart program will receive $45-million over the next three years, which includes $10.5 million for fire prevention work in the Fort McMurray area.

FireSmart is a nationwide program that helps municipalities and residents reduce the risk of wildfire in their communities. The funds will help communities develop tools and tactics such as:

  • education
  • vegetation management
  • legislation and planning
  • development considerations
  • inter agency co-operation
  • emergency planning

Before you burn it - get a permit

Since the start of Wildfire Season, March 1, 2017, fire permits are required for any burning in the Forest Protection Area (excluding campfires).

  • Existing fire permits are still valid but may be suspended if warm, dry weather continues.  Permit holders are reminded to use caution and ensure they obey all conditions.

Visit firepermits.alberta.ca or call toll free 310-0000. For backyard fire pits contact the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo 780-792-5519.


ABW_Hubspot_Postcard_600x300 WEB-2.jpgForest and Prairie Protection Act | Legislative and Regulatory Changes

The Alberta government is committed to protecting Albertans and their communities from the threat of wildfire. Many wildfires are caused by human-activity, approximately 70% over the past 6 years, and are 100 per cent preventable. 

Last fall legislation was passed to enhance wildfire prevention, to deter risky behaviour and give wildland firefighters more tools to keep Albertans and their communities safe.

These regulation changes help support the legislation by including:

  • new penalties for abandoning campfires or burning during fire bans
  • improving the government’s ability to restrict higher risk activities, like fireworks and incendiary targets

 The regulations also include specific direction for Industry including:

  • consistent flare site precautions - all flare pits and flare stacks to be cleared of debris for 30 metres
  • aligned debris disposal timelines for all industries to 12 months
  • new administrative penalties of up to $10,000 per offence per day, for failing to comply with the Act and regulations

In addition, the updated Act provides the authority to pursue the recovery of any economic gain resulting from a person’s actions. Administrative penalties will be determined by a statutory decision-maker on a case-by-case basis. Industrial users who knowingly contravene the Act and start a wildfire can be fined up to $1 million. For complete details click here.


Winter Burns

Please do your part to prevent wildfires this spring by making sure your winter burns are extinguished. A fire left smouldering can burn under the snow all winter and emerge as a wildfire in the spring when conditions are warm and dry.

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CONTACTS

Inside the Urban Service Area contact: Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo 780-792-5519 

Outside the Urban Service Area contact: Agriculture and Forestry at 780-743-7125 


Lynn Daina

Area Information Coordinator

Fort McMurray Forest Area

office: 780-743-7265 | mobile: 780-799-9253

lynn.daina@gov.ab.ca

 
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