High Level Area Update

High Level Forest Area Update April 10, 2017

Posted on Mon, Apr 10, 2017

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WILDFIRE HAZARD UPDATE

The wildfire hazard is Moderate in the High Level Forest Area due to exposed areas of dry grass. Areas of high-hazard are snow-free ditches and fields that allow for wildfires to catch easily and spread fast. Consider postponing any non-essential burning in snow-free areas until after grasses and leaves turn green.

Off-highway vehicles operating in grassy areas like snow-free ditches have a higher risk of starting a wildfire. Take the time to clean debris from your vehicle, before, after and during your ride. Learn more here.

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CHANGES TO THE FOREST AND PRAIRIE PROTECTION ACT 

Enhancements to the Forest and Prairie Protection Act (FPPA) 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
  • Activities that interfere with the fighting of a wildfire, such as the unauthorized use of drones near a wildfire, are considered more severe offences and will result in an automatic court appearance.

Individuals who knowingly violate the Forest and Prairie Protection Act by starting a wildfire can be fined up to $100,000 or face imprisonment for up to two years.

Industrial users who knowingly contravene the Act and start a wildfire can be fined up to $1 million.

See the full announcement or learn more here.

FIRE PERMITS

Fire permits are now required for all burning (except for campfires) within the Forest Protection Area of Alberta. New penalties now exist for failure to produce a fire permit when requested by a forest officer, read more here.

Fire permits allow our wildfire personnel to know where planned burns are taking place so firefighters are free to fight new wildfires. To obtain your free fire permit please call 780-926-5407. Leave us a message with the following info; name, daytime phone number, location of burn, and what you want to burn.

Fall or winter burns can move underground and burn silently until spring conditions allow it to come back to life. If you did any burning this past fall or winter, recheck those sites to make sure they are fully extinguished. This will prevent the burn from flaring up in the spring, becoming a spring wildfire.

Stir the debris, check for any hot spots, if you find one, soak it, stir it, and soak it again. Know that these hot spots may be underground, using a metal probe, insert it into the ground, pull it out and check for heat. The site is completely extinguished when there is no heat or smoke coming from it.

HAZARD REDUCTION BURNING

Agriculture and Forestry firefighters are taking advantage of the snow-free conditions and will be burning areas of dry grass in and around many communities in the High Level Forest Area; such as Chateh and John D’or Prairie. Burning helps to remove hazardous areas of dead, dry grass that is prominent around many communities in the spring. Removing hazardous grass reduce the risk of fast moving spring wildfires. If you have any questions contact 780-926-5401.

WILDFIRE UPDATE APRIL 10, 2017

There have been three new wildfires since April 1, 2017, all of which are extinguished. The High Level Forest Area has one wildfire from last year that remains on the landscape. This fire is located north of Bistcho Lake, which is under control at 752 hectares and continues to be monitored by firefighters. You can find the wildfire status map, here.  Please report a wildfire by calling 310-FIRE.

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

Victoria Ostendorf

Wildfire Information Officer

High Level Forest Area

Mobile: (780)841-9387

Email: [email protected]

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.