Fort McMurray Area Update

Fort McMurray Forest Area Wildfire Update - September 20, 2022

Posted on Tue, Sep 20, 2022


The fire danger in the Fort McMurray Forest Area is overall LOW.

Please use caution when working or recreating in the outdoors. Always ensure you fully extinguish your campfire and if you see smoke or flame in the forest, call 310-FIRE (3473)

End of wildfire season


Wildfire season in Alberta is from March 1 until October 31. During wildfire season, you are required to have a fire permit if you plan on burning in the Forest Protection Area, with the exception of a campfire.

To request a free fire permit online, visit the new portal. You will need a MyAlberta Digital ID to access the portal. Please note that you can still request your permit from the Fort McMurray forest office by calling 780-743-7125.

For more information regarding fire permits, you can view our video by clicking here.


Since January 1, 2022, there have been 108 wildfires in the Fort McMurray Forest Area, burning a total of 118,824.23 haThere are currently 31 active wildfires in the Fort McMurray Forest Area, 21 are classified as being held and 10 is classified as under control:

MWF022 was detected on June 13 and is located 58 km southeast of Fort Fitzgerald and 62 km northeast of Fort Chipewyan. It is currently estimated to be 31,395 ha in size and classified as being held. This wildfire was caused by lightning.

MWF031 was detected on June 25 and is located 21 km north of Fort Chipewyan. The wildfire is estimated to be 61,993 ha in size and was caused by lightning. The south end of the fire from the Roche River past the east side of Flett Lake is now controlled from ongoing suppression efforts. Although still classified as being held, this wildfire is not anticipated to threaten any community or surrounding cabins from this point forward.

Since these wildfires are located in remote areas where they do not threaten communities or resources, we allow the wildfires to play out their natural role onto the landscape under the watchful eye of experienced fire managers. Using this wildfire management strategy has many benefits. It re-introduces fire onto the landscape, creates a break in the continuous fuels, reduces the intensity of the fire, provides safety zones for our firefighting crews to work from and reduces the cost of fighting these wildfires.

These wildfires are actively monitored by firefighters on a regular basis and do not threaten any communities at this time.

To learn more about the classification of wildfires, please click here.

To view the wildfires on a map, check out the wildfire dashboard. It provides up-to-date wildfire information at the click of a button. This interactive tool displays important statistics on the number of active wildfires in the province, sizes, locations, suspected causes and more. 


Since January 1, 2022 in the Forest Protection Area, there have been 1118 wildfires burning a total of 143,439.59 ha.


How OHVs Can Start Wildfires

  • Exhaust systems heat up to temperatures in excess of 204 degrees Celsius; hot enough to fry an egg and start a wildfire.
  • At these temperatures, built up materials and debris on your machine (such as grass, muskeg, moss, or other debris) can heat up, smoulder and ignite.
  • The smouldering debris can drop to the ground as you’re riding, starting a wildfire.

Help Reduce the Risk

You can reduce the risk of your vehicle causing a wildfire by following these simple steps:

  • Before you ride, clean out hot spots and remove debris from your machine.
  • After riding through muskeg or tall grass, stop and remove any build-up from your machine.
  • Carry firefighting equipment such as a small shovel, collapsible pail or fire extinguisher.
  • Wash your quad, trike or bike and keep it clean; do not wash in streams and creeks.
  • Make sure your muffler and spark arrestor are working properly.
  • Stop frequently. Take the time to knock debris from your machine’s hot spots. If the debris is smouldering, soak it, stir it, and soak it again to make sure it’s out.

Fire Permit Online


Having a campfire or going hunting? Here are some tips to keep in mind to ensure a safe and enjoyable outdoor experience:

Select your site:

  • In campgrounds or recreational areas, use the designated stoves, rings, or fire pits. They are designed to keep fires from spreading and are the best choice for a safe campfire.
  • When outside of a campground, use sites that are clear of dry grass, bushes, leaves, branches, tree trunks, peat moss, and overhanging branches. If the site has already been used for a campfire, use the same site.
  • Build your campfires on level ground that is sheltered from wind.
  • If you can’t build your fire near a water source, have a large container of water nearby to keep your campfire under control. When you are done, fully extinguish it by soaking it, stirring it, and soaking it again.

Extinguish your campfire:

Soak It. Stir It. Soak It Again.

  • Let the fire burn down before you plan on putting it out. Spread the embers within the fire pit, then add water or loose dirt, and stir.
  • Expose any material still burning. Add more water and stir again until you can no longer see smoke or steam. Do not bury your fire as the embers may continue to smoulder and can re-emerge as a wildfire.
  • Repeat until your campfire is cool to the touch.
  • If your fire is out, you should not be able to feel any heat from the ashes.

For more information on campfire safety, click here.



Emily Smith
Wildfire Information Officer
Fort McMurray, AB
Cell: 780-799-9253



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