High Level Area Update

High Level Forest Area Update - October 31, 2023

Posted on Tue, Oct 31, 2023



The fire danger is moderate in the High Level Forest Area. With Continued drought conditions in the area, Alberta Wildfire is strongly urging landowners to delay any winter burning until there is a significant amount of snow on the ground.

Please use caution while engaging in outdoor activities this fall, as there is a risk of grass fires. Fine fire fuels, like dead grass, can rapidly dry out and become highly flammable with just a few hours of warm temperatures. Any spark, friction or hot exhaust in areas of dead dry grass can cause a fast moving wildfire. When riding your off-highway vehicle stop frequently to remove debris from your machine's hot spots. Report wildfires immediately by calling 310-FIRE (3473).

end of wildfire season 2023


From November 1st to February 28th fire permits are not required for burning in the Forest Protection Area. Even though a fire permit is not required, you are still responsible for any fires you ignite outside of the wildfire season. 

Alberta Wildfire is urging everyone to use caution when burning this winter as holdover fires are likely to occur. With the lack of rain in the late summer and fall, the conditions in the ground are extremely dry. This means a fire will dig in and burn deep in the ground, under the snow all winter long. Under the right conditions, these fires can re-emerge in the spring as wildfires.

Take the time to properly prepare your burn site. Know the requirements needed to be successful during your burn and how to properly extinguish your site.

Before You Burn

  • Winter burns should be conducted in areas with sufficient snow cover of more than 15 centimetres and burns must be monitored the entire time. 
  • Ensure smoke warning signs are in place before burning within half a mile (800 m) from a roadway. For more information on smoke management and to acquire signs, contact your local municipality. If you are outside of a municipality, contact Alberta Transportation.

While burning:

  • Have someone monitoring the burn the entire time – if it escapes, immediately report it to 310-FIRE.
  • Only burn what you can control with the equipment and people you have available, and adjust your burning according to weather conditions.
  • Build it right. Brush piles or debris windrows should be free of soil, built to a maximum height of 3 metres, and with a fireguard or cleared land around it to stop the spread of fire.

 After you burn:

  • Spread remaining material within the pile and soak with water as required.
  • Check the area and ensure both heat and smoke are no longer being produced by the pile – it should be cool to the touch.
  • Check your burn site multiple times in the following weeks to ensure it has not reignited.


There are 19 wildfires in the High Level Forest Area. Of these fires, 12 are classified as being held (BH) and 7 are under control (UC). To see a map of the wildfires in the High Level Forest Area and across the province please click here.

This season there have been a total of 176 wildfires in the High Level Forest Area, burning a total of 1,220,233 hectares.

In the Province of Alberta, Alberta Wildfire has responded to 1,097 wildfires in the Forest Protection Area. These wildfires burned over 2,211,959 hectares. That’s near the five-year average for total number of wildfires 1,114, but above the average for area burned, which is 206,983 hectares. 


HWF058 | This wildfire is classified as being held with a last recorded size of 234,046 hectares. Being held means that given current weather conditions and resources, the wildfire is not anticipated to grow past expected boundaries. 

HWF036 | This wildfire is classified as being held (BH) at 205,938 hectares. Being held means that given current weather conditions and resources, the wildfire is not anticipated to grow past expected boundaries. 

Off Highway-Vehicle Safety - Exhaust systems heat up to temperatures in excess of 200°C. At these temperatures, built up materials and debris on your machine (such as grass, muskeg, moss) can heat up, smoulder and ignite. Hot debris can drop to the ground as you are riding, starting a wildfire.  Keep watch while riding and extinguish small fires if you have water available. If you see a wildfire, report it immediately by calling 310-FIRE.

Active Wildfire Area - There a active wildfire operations ongoing in the High Level Forest Area. To see a map of wildfire locations download the AB Wildfire App or visit the Alberta Wildfire Status Dashboard. For your safety and to ensure firefighters can do their job safely, please stay away from active wildfire areas. Your cooperation is essential.

Campfires - Always extinguish your fire. Soak it, stir it, soak it again. The fire is out when it is cold to the touch. Ensure you always check Albertafirebans.ca before recreating in the Forest Protection Area of Alberta. 

Smoky Conditions - Smoke from near by wildfires is impacting air quality and road visibility. Drive safe and 511.alberta.ca. for road closure information. 


Protect Alberta's communities and forests by becoming a wildland firefighter. Click here to apply. Deadline to apply is November 30th. 

Hiring firefighters - helicopter (landscape)


Download the Alberta Wildfire app today and get access to accurate, real-time information on wildfires in your area. You can also find information on fire advisories, restrictions and bans across the province and much more all on your mobile device. Available for Apple and Android.

Before heading out, please check albertafirebans.ca to determine whether there are any fire advisories, fire restrictions or fire bans in effect for your destination. 

Subscribe to the High Level Forest Area Update to receive an email when new information is posted. Join the conversation on FacebookTwitter or Instagram.

WILDFIRE PREPAREDNESS | Learn how you can prepare yourself for a wildfire by clicking here.


For more information please contact,
Victoria Ostendorf | Wildfire Information Officer
High Level Forest Area
Mobile: 780-841-9387
Email: victoria.ostendorf@gov.ab.ca
Read More