Oct. 31, 2018 marked the end of the 2018 Wildfire Season. Please remember snow and cold temperatures will not put out a fire. In fact, a fire that is not properly extinguished can move underground and smoulder until spring, when it comes alive as a wildfire.
WHITECOURT FOREST AREA YEAR IN REVIEW
This year we had a total of 55 wildfires in the Whitecourt Forest Area; with a total area burnt of 14.03 hectares. We were below the five year average of 66 wildfires and 184 hectares burnt.
Find out more about the 2017/18 Wildfire Season in Alberta's Forest Protection Area.
From October 31 - February 28, a fire permit is no longer needed 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 outside of the wildfire season.
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.
PREPARING FOR 2018/19 WILDFIRE SEASON
Firefighters are preparing for the next wildfire season, and will remain on duty to respond to any wildfires that happen. We recommend that fall and winter are great times to make sure your home and property are FireSmart for the 2019 Wildfire Season, call your local municipality to find out what you can do.