Whitecourt Area Update

Whitecourt Forest Area Wildfire Update - April 6, 2017

Posted on Thu, Apr 06, 2017



The wildfire hazard is LOW in the Whitecourt Forest Area. As the snow pack continues to melt, areas of dead, dry grass are being exposed and are creating a significant wildfire hazard.

Consider postponing any non-essential burning or use of an off-highway vehicle in snow-free areas until after grasses and leaves turn green.


Currently, there are no active wildfires in the Whitecourt Forest Area. For information on the wildfire situation across the province of Alberta, visit wildfire.alberta.ca



Presentation: Wildfire Prevention For the Oil and Gas Industry.
Date: Tuesday, April 11, 2017
Time: 1330hrs - 1430hrs
Location: Whitecourt Training Centre, located at 4012-43 Ave in Whitecourt, Alberta.                 

Please RSVP with number of people attending by April 10, 2017 to mike.milner@gov.ab.ca



Crop burning should be used as a final management option for unharvested crops. Consider bailing, removing the crops from field and later burning them away from the field. 

Research has shown that burning crop residues has many negative effects. Burning reduces soil organic matter, carbon and nitrogen and can have negative effects on soil erosion, permeability and air quality. Burning disrupts the balance of microorganisms in the soil reducing the biological activity and overall soil health. Read more at agric.gov.ab.ca

If crop burning is necessary and you live in the Whitecourt Forest Area, by law you require a fire permit that will ensure safe burning practices are followed. Get your free fire permit by calling:

  • Whitecourt patrolman at 780-778-1590 or
  • Whitecourt Fire Centre at 780-778-7272. 



As of March 1, a free permit is required for all burning (except for campfires) within the Forest Protection Area of Alberta. New penalties now exist for failure to produce a fire permit when requested by a forest officer, read more here.

Fire permits allow our wildfire managers to know where planned burns are taking place so firefighters are free to fight new wildfires.

How to get started:

  • To save time, start by preparing your burn site so that it will meet the fire permit requirements.
  • Call our office at least one week before the intended burn date.  
  • For a fire permit call the Whitecourt patrolman at 780-778-1590 or the Whitecourt Fire Centre at 780-778-7272.

Learn more about fire permits.



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Enhancements to the Forest and Prairie Protection Act (FPPA) regulations include:

  • New penalties for infractions such as leaving a campfire unattended or burning without a permit
  • Restrictions on the use of fireworks or exploding targets in the Forest Protection Area of Alberta without written permission from a forest officer
  • Improvements to flammable debris disposal and other industry-based requirements
  • Activities that interfere with the fighting of a wildfire, such as the unauthorized use of drones near a wildfire, will result in an automatic court appearance

Individuals who knowingly contravene the Forest and Prairie Protection Act by starting a wildfire can be fined up to $100,000 or face imprisonment for up to two years.

Industrial users who knowingly contravene the Act and start a wildfire can be fined up to $1 million.

See the full announcement or learn more here.


If you see smoke in the forest call 310-FIRE(3473). 

Unless conditions change, your next wildfire update will be on April 13, 2017.

Shannon Stambaugh
Wildfire Information Officer
Whitecourt Forest Area
Mobile: 780.706.5336
Email: Shannon.Stambaugh@gov.ab.ca


Stay current on Alberta's wildfire situation, download the Alberta Wildfire mobile app for Android or Apple products. You can also join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
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