Fort McMurray Area Update

Provincial Fire Ban and OHV Restriction in effect - April 15

Posted on Wed, Apr 15, 2020

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Wildfire Update

The wildfire danger in the Fort McMurray Forest Area remains LOW.  In Alberta, we traditionally see the highest wildfire danger in mid-April through the end of May, before vegetation has started growing. In the past 5 years human-caused wildfires accounted for 30% of starts, and 70%  of hectares burned in the Fort McMurray forest area. These fires are 100% preventable. 

Fire Ban and OHV Restriction

Introducing a fire ban and OHV Restriction at this time is expected to reduce the number of human-caused wildfires in Alberta, allowing our firefighting resources to be focused where they are most needed. Resources may be challenged due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Click here for the latest information on the current wildfire situation across the province.

Fire Ban and OHV

All fire permits are suspended and no new fire permits will be issued. Some allowances can be made for essential agricultural and industrial burning, but will need to be approved by a forest officer.

Prohibited

  • All open fires including campfires in campgrounds, back-country and random camping areas, and backyard fire pits in the Forest Protection area.
  • Charcoal briquettes.
  • 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. 

What is an OHV?

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

Anyone found to be non-compliant of the fire ban may receive a violation ticket of $600 and non-compliant with the OHV restriction, a violation ticket of $1200.

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.

For more information visit Alberta Fire Bans


If you suspect a wildfire, please report it to 310 FIRE

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


The Fort McMurray Forest Area office is currently closed to the public.  If you have any questions, please contact our office at 780-743-7125.


Fort McMurray area contacts:

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: Alberta Forestry at 780-743-7125 

Lynn Daina, Information Officer

780-799-9253 - lynn.daina@gov.ab.ca

Related information: