Warm, dry conditions and the wind have driven the wildfire hazard to HIGH for the Whitecourt Forest Area. The forecast is calling for the wind to be northwest in direction at 20 kilometres per hour, gusting to 50 kilometres per hour.
Abide by the conditions on your fire permit. If you are working or recreating in the forest, take the necessary precautions to prevent a wildfire. If you see smoke in the forest, call 310-FIRE (3473).
Image: Burn pile in the fall.
Help firefighters by getting a fire permit. Avoid a false alarm and make sure firefighters are where they are needed - not in your backyard.
A fire permit is required for any burning (except campfires) within the Forest Protection Area. If you are in the Whitecourt Forest Area, get the permit process started today by calling: 780-778-7272.
Having a campfire?
When having a cooking or warming fire this fall, remember to soak it, stir it, soak it again. Never leave a fire unattended. You will know it's out when the ashes are cool to the touch.
Every fire counts - extinguish it properly to prevent a wildfire. Learn more, here.
Image: To fully extinguish a cooking or warming fire, simply soak the ashes, stir them, and keep soaking the ashes until they are cool to the touch.
PREVENTING A WILDFIRE IS EASY WHEN USING AN OFF-HIGHWAY VEHICLE (OHV)
Off-highway vehicles can start wildfires but preventing one is easy. Stop frequently during your ride, check your vehicle for the build up of grass, branches or other debris. Remove them and continue to enjoy your ride - learn more, here.
Image: Taking a break on the edge of a stream - it takes no time to clean the debris from your machine.
LOCAL WILDFIRE UPDATE
There have been no new wildfires since August 3, 2016 in the Whitecourt Forest Area. Since April 1, 2016 there have been 36 wildfires in the Area, that have burned just over 671 hectares. Twenty-nine of the wildfires were human-caused meaning that almost all of the wildfires were preventable.
For information on the wildfire situation across the province of Alberta, visit wildfire.alberta.ca.
Visit beta.albertafirebans.ca to learn about fire restrictions or bans across the province.
Note: 1 hectare is 100 metres by 100 metres or approximately the size of 2 football fields.
FIRESMART IN THE FALL
If you are living in a forested area, be aware of the wildfire risk and ways you can take action to make your home and community become "FireSmart." Here are some quick and easy ideas to help you get started:
- Regularly remove debris from your eaves. Sparks and embers can easily ignite these materials.
- Store firewood a minimum of 10 metres from any structures.
- Close in any exposed eaves, vents and soffits on your home.
- Mow and water grass within 10 metres of buildings.
Learn more at firesmartcanada.ca
Unless conditions change, your next email update will be on September 30, 2016.