The wildfire hazard for the Grande Prairie Forest Area heading into the May long weekend is LOW, however expected increasing temperatures and decreasing relative humidity values will likely have the hazard climbing throughout the weekend.
Preventing wildfires this long weekend is everyone's responsiblity.
Call 310-FIRE if you see smoke in a forested area.
Soak it, Stir it, Soak it again
Ensure your campfire is completely extinguished before leaving it unattended. Even if you are just going for a quick hike or to visit a neighboring campsite, do not leave a fire burning. Pour water over the fire, stir up the coals and then pour more water over the fire until it is no longer hot. If you hold your hand over the fire and still feel heat then the fire is not extinguished.
Recent amendments to the Forest and Prairie Protection Act include fines for abandoning campfires as well as for using fireworks and exploding targets in forested areas. Learn more about updates to the act and fine amounts here.
Off-Highway Vehicle Safety
Off-highway vehicle exhausts can reach temperatures of over 200 degrees Celsius. This is hot enough to dry out even wet, muddy debris and cause it to catch fire. This debris then drops off the vehicle and can end up starting a wildfire.
Ride debris free to prevent wildfires. Check hot spots periodically and clean off any built up muddy or grassy debris.
There have been 10 wildfires so far this season that have burned a total of 2.28 hectares in the Grande Prairie Forest Area. All of these have been extinguished.
Throughout the province of Alberta the 2017 wildfire season has seen 218 fires burn a total of 646.21 hectares.
Burn it with a permit
Between March 1 and October 31 a permit is required for any burning larger than a small cooking or warming fire within the Forest Protection Area. In the Grande Prairie Forest Area phone (780) 538-5560 for more information and to obtain a fire permit from one of our fire guardians. Those living in the County of Grande Prairie can find information about County fire coding and permits here.
Burning with a permit helps ensure that wildfire crews and lookout observers know where burning is occurring and do not initiate an unnecessary emergency response.
Get the most up-to-date wildfire information for the entire province by downloading the Alberta Wildfire app for Android or Apple devices.
For more information contact:
Melinda Paplawski | Wildfire Information Officer
Grande Prairie Forest Area
Mobile: (780) 933-1929