Grande Prairie Area Update

Grande Prairie Forest Area Wildfire Update - April 5, 2017

Posted on Wed, Apr 05, 2017

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The current wildfire hazard for the Grande Prairie region is LOW. There are no active wildfires in the Grande Prairie Forest Area.

Since March 1, 2017, Alberta has recorded 16 wildfires in the Forest Protection Area that have burned a total of 14.77 hectares.

If you spot smoke or fire in a forested area call 310-FIRE immediately to report it.

Controlled burn completed

Staff from Alberta Agriculture and Forestry assisted the County of Grande Prairie with a controlled burn in grass along the railway tracks near International Paper (formerly Weyerhaeuser). The burn was done as part of the County’s wildfire mitigation strategy which aims to safely and effectively reduce the risk of wildfires. The burn was completed April 5-6, 2017.

See the full announcement from the County here.

Wildfire season began March 1, 2017

Protecting Albertans from the threat of wildfire is one of our highest priorities. That’s why March 1 is now legislated as the start of wildfire season.

As of March 1, 2017 any burning larger than a small cooking or warming fire within the Forest Protection Area will once again require a permit. 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.

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Winter Burning

Ensure your winter burning is completely extinguished. Check your burn sites for smoke, flame or smouldering. Stir up the debris and search for hot spots that may be buried in the debris or even in the ground and use water or snow to soak it, stir it, and soak it again. Return to check the burn site and ensure that there is no lingering heat or smoke.

As the snow melts and grass and woody debris begin to dry the risk of a wildfire starting from a winter burn pile left smouldering above or below ground increases dramatically.

Crop Burning

Crop burning should be used as a final management option for unharvested crops. Consider baling, removing crop from field and later burning away from field.

Research has shown that burning crop residues has many negative effects. Burning reduces soil organic matter, carbon and nitrogen and can have negative effects on soil erosion, permeability and air quality. Burning disrupts the balance of microorganisms in the soil reducing the biological activity and overall soil health.

If crop burning is a necessity and you live in the Forest Protection Area you must obtain a permit from your area fire guardian and must adhere to safe burning practices. Call (780) 538-5560 for more information and to obtain a permit.

New wildfire protection regulations take effect March 31, 2017

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Enhancements to the Forest and Prairie Protection Act regulations include:

  • New penalties for infractions such as leaving a campfire unattended or burning without a permit
  • Restrictions on the use of fireworks or exploding targets in the Forest Protection Area of Alberta without written permission from a forest officer
  • Improvements to flammable debris disposal and other industry-based requirements

Under the enhanced regulations individuals who knowingly contravene the act by starting a wildfire could face fines of up to $100,000 or face imprisonment and industrial users could be fined up to $1 million.

Effective May 1, officers will be authorized to issue tickets for contraventions, like leaving a campfire unattended. Depending on the infraction, individual fines for specific violations could result in tickets ranging from between $172 and $575.

See the announcement here.

Get the most up-to-date wildfire information for the entire province by downloading the Alberta Wildfire app for Android or Apple devices.

Connect with Alberta Wildfire on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

For more information contact:

Melinda Paplawski | Wildfire Information Officer
Grande Prairie Forest Area
Mobile: (780) 933-1929
Melinda.Paplawski@gov.ab.ca

 


 

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