High Level Area Update

High Level Forest Area Update - November 10, 2020

Posted on Tue, Nov 10, 2020


Wildfire season officially ended on October 31, 2020 and therefore burning permits are no longer required. Please remember safe burning practices are always in season. If you plan to burn debris ensure you have proper signage up along roadways to notify traffic as smoke can impede visibility due to inversions.


Following safe burning practices during this period will help prevent holdover fires that can start spring wildfires. Be sure to always 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:

  • Have proper smoke signage along roadways. Signs are available at La Prairie Group (780-926-3208) or Mackenzie County (780-927-3718).

  • Building clean piles helps them burn faster, reducing smoke impacts to the community.

  • Ensure that you have the proper tools with you at any burn site.

  • 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.


The Chuckegg Creek wildfire (HWF042), which started in the spring of last year, was declared extinguished on October 13, 2020. Thanks to the hard work of wildland firefighters, structural fire departments, First Nations, industry and municipal partners, this wildfire has now been extinguished.

The 17-month Chuckegg Creek wildfire started on May 12, 2019, and was caused by lightning. This intense wildfire burned 334, 772 hectares, and caused the loss of structures and numerous evacuations throughout the region.

Over the winter of 2019/2020, firefighters and local timber operators continued working to extinguish interior hotspots as well as open up access to areas for heavy equipment to work. This also included cutting down fire-damaged trees which were salvaged and used for lumber at local High Level Forest Area mills. Areas north of the Peace River have a high component of peat moss soil, which is difficult to extinguish due to the fact fire smoulders in these types of soil. Peat moss soil lacks moisture and contains woody debris, which can continue to burn even under a layer of snow.

This past summer, firefighters extinguished hotspots and lookout observers were on high alert looking for any that might pop up. Wildfire staff utilized aerial infrared scanning to detect any sources of heat. The wet weather also provided relief, as the region saw heavier than usual amounts of rain. This helped to normalize the area drought conditions that had affected the forest fuels for the past five years.

Extinguishing a wildfire of that size and strength is not an easy task, but it is an example of how cooperation between emergency responders and partners can lead to a successful conclusion.


Since March 1, 2020, the High Level Forest Area has recorded 52 wildfires in the Forest Protection Area of Alberta that have burned a total of 132.71 hectares.

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Have you ever wanted to be a wildland firefighter? Here's your chance!

Crew applications for the 2021 wildfire season are now being accepted. Experience a seasonal position like no other! Work with like-minded individuals who have a passion for hard work and building a positive team dynamic. Applications will be accepted until November 30, 2020.

Find more information at https://wildfire.alberta.ca/recruitment/wildfire-crews.aspx

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

Stay tuned to www.albertafirebans.ca throughout the wildfire season for more information about fire bans and restrictions in the Forest Protection Area of Alberta.

For more information, please contact: 

Victoria Ostendorf | Wildfire Information Officer





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