The wildfire hazard is LOW for the Whitecourt Forest Area. If you see smoke in the forest call 310-FIRE.
LOCAL WILDFIRE UPDATE
Although snow is on the ground, firefighters continue to respond to wildfires in the Whitecourt Forest Area. Since the end of Fire Season (October 31, 2016), firefighters have responded to one new wildfire that has burned just under 0.5 hectares. If you see smoke in the forest, call 310-FIRE (3473).
During the 2016 fire season, there were 36 wildfires that burned just over 671 hectares in the area. 29 of the wildfires were human-caused; many were due to fires that were not properly extinguished during the winter. When the conditions became favorable in the spring, they reignited and became wildfires. Please do your part to prevent a wildfire.
For information on the wildfire situation across the province of Alberta, visit wildfire.alberta.ca.
WINTER CAMPFIRES MATTER
Last fire season, many of the wildfires in the Whitecourt Forest Area happened in the spring from winter burn sites (including cooking and warming fires) that were not properly extinguished. If you are a having a cooking or warming fire this winter, take the time to properly extinguish it. It's easy as 1, 2, 3...
1) Let the fire burn down well before you plan to extinguish it. Spread the embers around at the burn site and then add snow, water or loose dirt and stir.
2) Expose any material still burning and then add more snow, water or loose dirty until you can no longer see smoke or steam. Don't bury the fire and leave it - embers can continue to smolder under the cover of snow and can re-emerge as a wildfire.
3) If the fire is out, you will not be able to feel any heat from the ashes.
TIPS FOR SUCCESSFUL WINTER BURNING
Currently, fire permits are not required for burning within the Forest Protection Area but firefighters still respond to wildfires. Reporting a winter burn site location helps firefighters respond to actual wildfires - not a winter burn site. Read tips on successful winter burning here.
To report your winter burn site, call the Whitecourt Forest Area Office: 780-778-7272.
Unless conditions change, your next wildfire update will be on January 27, 2017.
Wildfire Information Officer
Whitecourt Forest Area