Fort McMurray Area Update

Fort McMurray Forest Area Wildfire Update - May 17 PM - Fire Ban and/OHV Restriction has been issued for northern Alberta

Posted on Fri, May 17, 2019

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Warmer temperatures and dry conditions in the Fort McMurray Forest Area have pushed the fire danger rating to EXTREME south of Lake Athabasca and to VERY HIGH north of the lake. Temperatures will continue to rise, and the relative humidity will drop over the weekend creating cross-over conditions. These conditions can cause fire to spread easily and quickly.

A Fire Ban and Off-Highway Vehicle Restriction has been issued in the Forest Protection Area of Alberta for most of northern Alberta, including the Fort McMurray Forest Area south of Lake Athabasca, the Lac La Biche Forest Area, the northern regions of the Slave Lake Forest Area, most of the Peace River Forest Area and all of the High level Forest Area.FireBan

All fire permits are suspended and no new fire permits will be issued.

Prohibited

  • All open fires including campfires in campgrounds, backcountry and random camping areas and backyard fire pits.
  • Charcoal briquettes, turkey fryers and tiki torches.
  • Fireworks and exploding targets.
  • The use of off-highway vehicles for recreational use on all public lands. 

Allowed

  • Portable propane fire pits that are CSA approved or UL certified.
  • Gas or propane stoves and barbecues that are CSA approved or UL certified and are designed for cooking or heating.
  • Catalytic or infrared-style heaters.
  • OHVs for industrial use, agricultural use, and traditional use by Indigenous peoples, as well as use on private lands. 

The Fire Ban and Off-Highway Vehicle Restriction will remain in effect until conditions improve.

OHV Restriction

Prohibited

  • The recreational use of OHVs on public lands and provincial parks, including designated OHV trails.

What is an OHV?

  • An “off-highway vehicle” is a motorized vehicle designed to go beyond defined roadways, including but not limited to:
  • Quads;
  • Side by sides;
  • Dirt bikes;
  • 4x4 Jeeps;
  • Pick-up trucks; or
  • Sport utility vehicles.

Exceptions

The OHV restriction does not apply to private land or agriculture, institutional (educational), commercial/ industrial, emergency response or Indigenous peoples who use OHV for traditional use.

To view a map of the Fire Ban/OHV Restriction visit www.albertafirebans.ca

Fire lookouts are on high alert constantly watching for smoke and firefighters in helicopters, various pieces of heavy equipment and airtankers are ready to respond to any new wildfires that may start.


“Windy conditions, along with continued warm and dry weather in northern Alberta, have increased the risk of wildfire throughout the area. This fire ban will ensure the safety of Albertans and their communities as well as protecting our forests by reducing that risk.”

Devin Dreeshen, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry


 If you spot a wildfire, call 310-FIRE! 

For more information on the wildfire situation across the province of Alberta

For more information: 

Inside the Urban Service Area contact: Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo 780-743-7000 or 1-800-973-9663

Outside the Urban Service Area contact: Agriculture and Forestry at 780-743-7125  


Wildfire Information Officer

Lynn Daina 780-743-7265 or 780-799-9253