Fort McMurray Area Update

Fort McMurray Forest Area Wildfire Update - March 10, 2023

Posted on Fri, Mar 10, 2023


The fire danger in the Fort McMurray Forest Area is 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). 


Since January 1, 2023 there has been one wildfire in the Fort McMurray Forest Area, burning a total of 0.01 hectares (ha) and is now extinguished.

Fire permits are required for all burning, with the exception of campfires, from March 1 – October 31. To get a free fire permit within the Forest Protection Area go to or the Fort McMurray Forest Area can be reached by calling 780-743-7125.

To view active wildfires across Alberta click here.


Since January 1, 2023 in the Forest Protection Area, there have been 14 wildfires burning a total of 3.18 ha.



Now that it's wildfire season, fire permits are required for any burning, except campfires, in the Forest Protection Area of Alberta. Fire permits help us track what is burning on the landscape.

If you are burning without a permit or not following permit conditions, your fire could be considered a wildfire and you could be fined and may be responsible for the costs of suppressing the fire. By getting a fire permit, you help keep our firefighters free to fight real wildfires instead of responding to the smoke in your backyard.

Fire permits are free and now available online. Visit to request yours. You’ll need a MyAlberta Digital ID to request a permit, so be sure to sign-up online at first. Fire permits are also still available, by request, from your local forest area office. The Fort McMurray Forest Area can be reached by calling 780-743-7125.

Nearly all spring wildfires are started by humans. Last year, more than 60 per cent of all wildfires in the province were human-caused. We all need to do our part in reducing the number of these entirely preventable wildfires. Whether it’s an abandoned campfire, OHV exhaust, or agricultural burning, everyone can help reduce the risk.


Winter is a great time to burn brush piles, windrows and other projects. With a good amount of snow, the risk of your fire spreading is limited. You require a fire permit and should keep in mind:

  • make sure you have appropriate tools and water on hand to manage your fire
  • use caution if drought conditions are high to extreme, as the fire may dig in and burn underground
  • insert a metal rod into your fire to tell if it is extinguished or if it’s still burning underground; if the metal rod comes out hot or warm to the touch, you know the fire is still smouldering
  • extinguish a fire by soaking it, stirring it, and soaking it again, even if you have to use heavy equipment to stir up your fire or dig down to allow water to reach the fire

Screenshot 2023-03-10 084249


A surprising number of winter burns can re-emerge as a spring wildfire. A lack of snow cover can leave brown, dry grass exposed and ready to ignite. Sparks from controlled fires like campfires, burn barrels or agricultural burning can inadvertently cause wildfires.

We ask Albertans to ensure all fall and winter burns are completely extinguished. All burning in the Forest Protection Area needs a fire permit except campfires after March 1.

When checking winter burns:

  • Walk the area and check for heat. Fire can smoulder underground only to reappear under drier conditions as a wildfire.
  • Insert a metal probe into the burned area and then feel it for heat to ensure nothing is burning in the ground.
  • Soak it, stir it and soak it again and check that it's cool to the touch.


Provincial Information Officer
Phone: 780-420-1968



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Wildfire Smoke and Your Health, 511 Road Reports, and Emergency Preparation.

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