Lac La Biche Area Update

MODERATE/HIGH Wildfire Danger/FIRE BAN IN EFFECT - Lac La Biche Forest Area Wildfire Update - May 8, 2020

Posted on Fri, May 08, 2020


The wildfire danger for the Lac La Biche Forest Area is MODERATE overall, with a band of HIGH danger along the east side of the area.  The Fire Ban remains in effect. An OHV Restriction is in place for portions of the Lac La Biche Forest Area north of Janvier (map will be attached below).

Cooler temperatures and moderate humidity have decreased the wildfire danger however winds continue to dry the grass and precipitation has been light and spotty.  The biggest wildfire danger is in the cured grass where fires that start will spread quickly under windy conditions.  Please check any winter burning sites for signs of smoldering ground fire or embers that the wind can stir into a wildfire.

The forecast for Saturday is for a high of 10 degrees, humidity of 40%, chance of scattered showers in the eastern part of the area, and winds NE20km/hr gusting to 25km/hr. Although there is a chance of light precipitation in some areas, the wind will continue to dry the grass. Cooler temperatures and moderate humidity are forecast for Sunday.

So far today we have had two new wildfires.  One is under control and one is being held.  Today's wildfire activity continues to demonstrate how dry and volatile the grass is despite some showers overnight.  

We have had 56 wildfires this season. Three other wildfires from earlier remain; one is Under Control in the Janvier area, one has been turned over to the landowners to extinguish, and one is being held.

Tomorrow we have eight crews, three helicopters, three water trucks, three engine crews and one airtanker group positioned across the forest area to respond to any new wildfires.



As part of Alberta Wildfire's Response Plan to COVID-19, a Fire Ban was issued for the Forest Protection Area of Alberta effective April 15th at 2:00 pm.  These measures aim to reduce the number of human caused wildfires, as most if not all wildfires in the early spring are caused by human activity.  Reducing human caused wildfires helps keep our firefighting resources focused where they are most needed, especially when our firefighting resources may be challenged due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Anyone found to be non-compliant with the Fire Ban may receive a violation ticket of $600. 

Fire permits are suspended or cancelled. Some allowances can be made for essential agricultural and industrial burning, but will need to be approved by a forest officer.

• Wood campfires on public lands.
• Wood campfires on private land and provincial campgrounds.
• Backyard firepits, and
• Barbeques with charcoal briquettes.

• Propane / natural gas powered appliances
• Open flame CSA approved oil devices
• Wood fires in an enclosed facility or device, which have a chimney with a spark arrestor

** All devices must be CSA approved and used as per manufacturer standards. An enclosed facility or device is one that is fully contained with a chimney that has a spark arrestor. Users are still responsible for care and attendance of all devices and should reduce their use during fire restrictions and bans. Approved activities or devices will not prevent potential prosecution or litigation if the user or device starts a wildfire.


An OHV Restriction is in effect for Fire Control Zone 41. Currently, the balance of the Lac La Biche Forest area  is not under an OHV Restriction. An off-highway vehicle restriction in the Forest Protection Area will be reintroduced to other areas if there is an increase in the danger level. We re-evaluate daily.


For the OHV Restriction (red borders on the above map)

Fire Control Zone 41 includes:

  • Gregoire Lake Estates and Anzac, on the south side of the Fort McMurray Forest Area

Fire Control Zone does not include:

  • Janvier and areas south of there in the Lac La Biche Forest Area

What is an OHV?

  • an “off-highway vehicle” is a motorized vehicle designed to go beyond defined roadways, including but not limited to:
  • quads
  • snowmobiles
  • side by sides
  • dirt bikes
  • 4x4 Jeeps;
  • pick-up trucks
  • sport utility vehicles

Anyone found to be non-compliant of the fire ban may receive a violation ticket of $600 and non-compliant with the OHV restriction, a violation ticket of $1200.


The OHV restriction does not apply to private land or agricultural, institutional (educational) or commercial/industrial use, emergency response or Indigenous peoples who use OHV for traditional purposes.  An OHV restriction exemption is also in place for those licensed for the spring bear hunt.

These steps are part of a number of actions the department is implementing to help mitigate wildfire risks during the COVID-19 pandemic. Taking action in advance to reduce the number of human-caused wildfires will allow Alberta Wildfire to make the best possible use of resources when the availability of firefighters could be reduced because of the pandemic.

Alberta Agriculture and Forestry will be monitoring conditions, including the availability of firefighting crews and resources during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Fire Ban will remain in effect until conditions improve.

** If you plan to go off-road outside of Fire Control Zone 41, keep in mind:

  • Off-highway vehicles exhausts can get very hot, reaching temperatures of over 200 Celsius, causing debris caught near the exhaust to become superheated. This debris can potentially start a wildfire when it falls to the ground.
  • It is crucial for Albertans to stop and check off-highway vehicles for debris and the ground for any debris that may have fallen.
  • Before you ride, clean any debris that has built up near the exhaust and muffler, under the seat, in wheel wells and around the engine.
  • Always carry a small fire extinguisher, a collapsible shovel and water. These tools can help extinguish a wildfire and safely dispose of hot debris.

Please visit for a map of the affected areas.


Gyms and fitness centers are closed, but our firefighters are creative in their quest to stay in shape.  Check out this Covid Weight Bench!

Thanks for doing your part to prevent wildfire.

For more information, please contact: 

Leslie Lozinski

Wildfire Information Officer





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