High Level Area Update

Fire season starts early - February 20, 2024

Posted on Tue, Feb 20, 2024

early fire season - 2024

Alberta’s wildfire season has started early this year, February 20, 2024.

This means that fire permits are now required for burning within the Forest Protection Area, except for a campfire. The early start is due to the drought conditions occurring in many areas of the province, which could lead to elevated fire danger if we do not receive significant rain in the spring.

The fire danger rating for the High Level Forest Area is moderate due to some areas within the district being snow free.

If you see smoke or flame in the forest and suspect it's a wildfire, call 310-FIRE.


Fire permits are now required for any outdoor burning with the exception of campfires.

Fire permits are free and can be requested online. Visit firepermits.alberta.ca to request your fire permit online. You may also request your fire permit by calling your local Forestry Office.

High Level Forest Area | Permit Line - 780-926-5407

Stay informed of fire restrictions and fire bans in your area by checking Alberta Firebans


Anyone who has conducted winter burning is responsible for revisiting their burn sites and ensuring the fires are out. With the dry conditions last fall and lack of moisture in the ground, there is potential for fires lit this winter to continue to burn under the snow and re-emerge as wildfires in the spring.

To prevent spring holdover wildfires revisit your brush pile or windrow burning projects to ensure the fires are extinguished.

  • Spread out the remaining material.
  • Soak the area and ensure both heat and smoke are no longer being produced.
  • Check your burn site multiple times in the coming weeks to ensure it has not reignited.


Heavy equipment working on hotspots on the southwest perimeter of the Basset fire (HWF058).


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

As there are many fires still on the landscape firefighters and staff have been observing fire behaviour and monitoring hotspots during the winter months. Some fires within the HLFA are being working on by crews and equipment, see below for more info.

Did you know, snow and cold lessen fire behaviour but do not put out fires, however smoke and steam help firefighters locate hotspot areas. Snow can act as an insulator and keep fire hot in the ground. Crews are working on hotspot areas by using equipment to dig up and expose the deep burning peat.


The Paskwa fire is a carryover fire from the 2023 season. This fire is classified as under control (UC) at 96,582 hectares.

Alberta Wildfire crews and heavy equipment have made good progress on hotspots in the east field, adjacent to the community. Crews have completed work in this area however they continue to monitor the area for any other hotspots that may arise. In addition, there are mulchers working in the south field. Please use caution in this area while crews are working. 


The Basset fire is a carryover fire from the 2023 season. This fire is classified as being held (BH) at 234,061 hectares.

Crews and heavy equipment are working on hotspots on the southwest perimeter of this fire. Work is ongoing and crews are making good progress.


Fire HBZ001 is a carryover fire from the 2023 season that crossed over from the BC border. This fire is a mutual aid fire and is 106,542 hectares.

Crews and heavy equipment are working on hotspots on the southeastern perimeter of this fire. Work is ongoing and crews are making good progress.



Your actions today can minimize wildfire damage to your home and property tomorrow. Visit the new FireSmart Alberta site to learn how you can reduce the risk and negative impact of wildfire to your home, neighbourhood and community.

To learn more on how you can protect your home and structures from wildfire, download the Farm and Acreage FireSmart magazine.


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. 

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