WILDFIRE HAZARD UPDATE
The wildfire hazard is low in the Whitecourt Forest Area. Please remember, safe burning practices are always in season. See below for tips on how to safely burn during the winter.
2017 WILDFIRE SEASON REVIEW - November 2, 2017
Whitecourt Forest Area
From April 1 - Oct. 31, the Whitecourt Forest Area had 29 wildfires that burned 11.44 hectares in the Forest Area.
- These totals are below the five year average. The lower numbers were mainly due to a wet spring when the majority of wildfires happen in our Forest Area.
- Firefighters also had help from those working and enjoying the forest that prevented or reported wildfires.
On behalf of local widland firefighters, thank you to all of those that called 310-FIRE (3473) or took the time to prevent a wildfire, you have made a difference.
Province of Alberta
From April 1 to Oct. 31, there were 1,230 wildfires that burned just over 49,000 hectares of Alberta’s forests. The five-year average is 1,486 fires burning approximately 301,000 hectares.
- Firefighters, aircraft and equipment were sent to B.C., Yukon, Northwest Territories, Parks Canada, Oregon and Montana this year.
- A forest area closure was put in place in southern portions of Alberta’s forests from Sept. 4 to Sept. 19.
- New regulations including the changes to the Forest and Prairie Protection Act saw the province issue 150 enforcement actions and resulted in approximately 50 violation tickets being issued provincially.
Throughout the winter months, Alberta Wildfire will continue to monitor and respond to any wildfires. If you see a wildfire in the forest, report it at 310-FIRE (3473).
For information current wildfires across the province of Alberta, visit the wildfire status map.
PREPARATION FOR A SUCCESSFUL FALL OR WINTER BURN
From October 31 - February 28, you no longer require a free fire permit to burn within the Forest Protection Area of Alberta. Please remember that if you ignite a fire, you are still responsible if it causes a wildfire. Below are some tips on how to prevent a wildfire while burning this fall or winter.
Prepare the site:
- Choose a location that is on high ground and so that pile can be 25 metres or more away from structures and standing trees. Learn more about properly preparing a burn site here.
- Surround the pile with a fireguard that is at least 15 metres wide - preferably bare mineral soil.
- Ensure the pile is clean of dirt so it can burn cleanly and quickly.
Report your site:
- Prior to burning, notify the Whiteocurt Forest Area of your burn site.
- Have ready your start and end dates of burn, description of materials to be burnt and the legal land description.
- Call: 780-778-7272.
Safe burning practices:
- Have someone on site monitoring the burn the entire time - if it escapes, immediately report it to the local Whitecourt Forest Area Office: 780-778-7272.
- Have adequate tools, water and equipment on site when burning. If you require advice on this, call the Whitecourt Forest Area Office.
- Only burn what you can control with the equipment, people and weather conditions you have available.
After you burn:
- Spread out the remaining material within the pile.
- Soak the area and ensure both heat and smoke are no longer being produced by the pile - it should be cool to the touch.
- Check your burn site multiple times in the coming weeks to ensure it has not reignited.
Learn more here.
BECOME PART OF THE TEAM!http://wildfire.alberta.ca/recruitment/default.aspx
Application deadline is November 30, 2017.
ALBERTA WILDFIRE INFORMATION WHEN YOU NEED IT
To report a wildfire in the Forest Protection Area of Alberta, call 310-FIRE (3473).
Unless conditions change, your next wildfire update will be at 11:00 a.m. on November 30, 2017.
Wildfire Information Officer
Whitecourt Forest Area