The wildfire danger for the Grande Prairie Forest Area is LOW
Sturgeon Lake Complex GCX001
Wildfire Situation | May 23, 2023
Since January 1, 2023, there have been 32 wildfires in the Grande Prairie Forest Area. At this time, nearly 29,190.00 hectares (ha) have burned. Of these fires, none are listed as out of control (OC), three are under control (UC), four are being held (BH), three have been turned over to the responsible party for extinguishment and 19 of these fires have been extinguished.
To see all wildfires on a map please click here.
GWF019 - Bald Mountain Fire
This fire is classified as being held (BH) and is estimated to be 19,435 hectares in size. At this stage, the wildfire is not likely to spread beyond predetermined boundaries under prevailing conditions. Crews will finish establishing control lines, conduct fuel management activities and mop-up (extinguishing a fire after it has been brought under control).
The fire is approximately 17 kilometres west of Highway 40. The fire has crossed the Bald Mountain Road to the east and is in proximity to the intersection of Odum Ridge Road and Bald Mountain Road to the south.
Thirty-eight firefighters along with five helicopters and five pieces of heavy equipment were assigned to the fire today. However, the rain and smoke did not allow the safe use of helicopters on the fire.
This fire is currently classified as out of control (OC). For more information about this fire please visit the Peace River Forest Area Update.
GWF027- Eagle Complex WCX001
This fire is classified as out of control (OC) and is now part of the Eagle Complex which is being managed by the Whitecourt Forest Area. For the most recent updates visit the Whitecourt Forest Area Update
GWF017 & GWF023 - Sturgeon Lake Complex GCX001
The Sturgeon Lake Complex comprises two fires. GWF017 is estimated to be 5752 hectares in size and GWF023 is estimated to be 3869 hectares in size. Both fires are considered “Being Held.” The status change means the fires are 100% contained.
The definition of “Being Held” is as such: sufficient resources are currently committed, and sufficient action has been taken, that the fire is not likely to spread beyond existent or predetermined boundaries under prevailing and forecasted weather and fire behaviour conditions.
As of this morning, the rain gauge on GWF023 recorded 78 millimetres of precipitation, and a second gauge on GWF017 showed 52 millimetres total since Sunday night. Today some crews patrolled the fire to observe conditions. The rain has subdued all visible fire behaviour. It is important to note that fires of these sizes and duration, will not be extinguished by rain alone. Due to the hundreds of hot spots in the ground, when warm and dry weather returns, fire behaviour may become visible again. This is why firefighters on the ground will be needed in the coming weeks to ensure that all the sources of heat, particularly near structures, have been eliminated.
Crews also patrolled to assess the fire ground. The rain has made the terrain dangerous for firefighters. The blackened ground is slippery, and the dozer guards are almost impracticable for our trucks and machinery. Moreover, the strong winds, associated with the rain, have made the already fragile trees even more dangerous.
137 firefighting personnel and 97 management and support staff were on site today. Eight helicopters and 27 pieces of heavy machinery were allotted to the two fires. Crews were once again unable to use the helicopters; weather conditions made their use impossible.
Volunteers, equipment owners/operators or firefighters looking to assist with these wildfires or any of the wildfires within the province, please contact EmergencySupportOffers@gov.ab.ca.
The use of recreational drones over wildfires in Alberta is dangerous, illegal and could result in a fine of up to $15,000* for putting aircraft and people at risk. Please give Alberta firefighters the space they need to do their jobs safely. *Transport Canada
Fire ban and OHV restriction in effect
A fire ban and OHV restriction is in effect within the Forest Protection Area due to extreme fire danger.
Under this fire ban:
- All existing Fire Permits are suspended (or cancelled)
- No new Fire Permits will be issued
- All outdoor wood fires are banned, including wood campfires on public lands, wood campfires on private land and provincial campgrounds.
- Backyard firepits
- BBQ charcoal briquettes
- The use of fireworks and exploding targets
- The recreational use of off-highway vehicles (OHV) on public lands, including designated OHV trails
- Propane/natural gas-powered appliances.
- Open flame oil devices (e.g., turkey deep fryers, tiki torches)
- Indoor wood fires contained within a device with a chimney and spark arrestor
- All appliances must be CSA approved and used per manufacturer’s standards
Due to extreme fire danger conditions, the province has enacted an Off-Highway Vehicle Restriction that prohibits the recreational use of off-highway vehicles (OHV)s on public lands, including designated OHV trails, until the wildfire danger lessens. This OHV restriction applies to the entire Forest Protection Area of Alberta.
Indigenous people when using an OHV for traditional purposes. Traditional purposes are hunting, fishing, and trapping – including the use of an OHV to travel to the location(s) for these purposes.
Essential industry-related activities requiring the use of OHVs - permission from a forest officer is required in the Grande Prairie Forest Area.
Off-highway vehicle use is still permitted on private lands.
If you see a wildfire, report it immediately by calling 310-FIRE.
The fire ban will remain in effect until conditions improve.
Kelly Burke | Wildfire Information Officer
(780) 832 7235
- Alberta Wildfire
- Alberta Fire Bans
- FireSmart in Alberta
- Alberta Emergency Alerts
- Air Quality Health Index
- Wildfire Smoke and Your Health
- 511 Road Reports
- Emergency Preparation
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