WILDFIRE SEASON BEGAN MARCH 1
Protecting Albertan's from the threat of wildfire is a priority, that's why March 1st is now legislated as the start of the wildfire season. See the announcement here.
Fire permits are now required for any burning within the Forest Protection Area of Alberta.
WILDFIRE HAZARD UPDATE
Snow and cold temperatures keep the wildfire hazard low in the Whitecourt Forest Area. As snow starts to melt, dead, dry grasses and vegetation will be exposed. These conditions allow for wildfires to catch easily and spread quickly in snow-free areas. Consider postponing any non-essential burning in snow-free areas until after grasses and leaves turn green.
AREA WILDFIRE UPDATE
Currently, there are no wildfires in the Whitecourt Forest Area. To report smoke in the forest, call 310-FIRE (3473).
For information on the wildfire situation across the province of Alberta, visit wildfire.alberta.ca.
A free permit is required for all burning (except for campfires) within the Forest Protection Area of Alberta. 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.
IT IS ALWAYS THE RIGHT SEASON TO CHECK YOUR FALL OR WINTER BURN SITES
Fires that are not properly extinguished during the winter can burn silently underground and when conditions became right in the spring, they reignited and became wildfires. These types of wildfires are called holdover wildfires.
Here are some quick tips on how to check a fall and/or winter burn site to prevent a holdover wildfire:
- Roll debris over, using a metal probe, probe debris and the ground. Look for flames, smouldering debris or steam. Use a bare hand to check for heat.
- If you find any hot spots, pour water or dump snow on it. Stir it, soak it, stir again. Repeat until there is no steam or heating coming from the site.
- In areas of deep organic material (like peat or organic soils) make sure to dig into the ground to see if the fire is burning below the surface. If you find heat or steam, soak it stir it, soak it again.
- Be thorough and walk around the entire burn site.
A properly extinguished burn site will be cool to the touch above and below the surface of the burn and steam will not be visible.
Unless conditions change, your next wildfire update will be on March 31, 2017.
Wildfire Information Officer
Whitecourt Forest Area