Abandoned campfires in Alberta have turned into wildfires since the beginning of January . Agriculture and Forestry has extinguished several wildfires since the new year. These have been campfires that have burned into the ground due to dry winter conditions.
Please be aware: Mother Nature is not going to put out your campfire! With the lack of snow, any fires left alone continue to burn and smolder, spreading through the grass, and digging down into the ground. In a snowy fall, the snow keeps the fire from spreading, but it still digs down into the ground and can burn all winter. Under our current conditions, the lack of snow is letting the fire creep and grow, and dig into the ground in a much bigger patch. When the snow comes, it will just cover the fire, insulating it and letting it burn until Spring.
Take the time to put your campfires out!
Put off any winter burning until we have more snow cover. And then remember to keep a close watch on your burn sites.
Barry A. Shellian RPFT
Area Information Coordinator
Rocky Wildfire Management Area
Department of Agriculture and Forestry
May the forest be with you