The fire danger is MODERATE for the High Level Forest Area. Please continue to use extra caution in areas of dry, dead grass. A fire ban remains in place for the High Level Forest Area.
HIGH LEVEL FOREST AREA WILDFIRE UPDATE | MAY 22, 2020 AT 4:00 p.m.
Since March 1, 2020, the High Level Forest Area has recorded 15 wildfires in the Forest Protection Area that have burned a total of 77.05 hectares.
Since March 1, 2020, Alberta has recorded 235 wildfires in the Forest Protection Area of Alberta that have burned a total of 424 hectares.
Due to warmer temperatures and spring winds, a hotspot on the east side of the Chuckegg Creek fire is active. This hotspot is burning within the fire perimeter and is approximately 111 hectares in size. Smoke from this hotspot can be visible to nearby communities. There are 32 firefighters, two helicopters, and heavy equipment working on extinguishing this hotspot.
Firefighters have set up a base on the east side of the fire with firefighting resources and heavy equipment. This will allow firefighters to respond quickly to any new hotspots that may pop up. Firefighters continue to use infrared scanning to further identify hotspots on the east side of the fire as well.
Going into winter last year firefighters had recorded 50 hectares of active ground fire. Most of the areas discovered were in the east where the landscape is covered with peat moss. Peat moss can be challenging to work in as the fire can smoulder down to 10 feet. All these identifiable areas of ground fire were extinguished with heavy equipment.
Firefighters, aircraft and heavy equipment continue to work on extinguishing these areas and are monitoring for any new ones.
For more information on the current wildfire situation across the province of Alberta, visit wildfirestatus.alberta.ca.
There is a NOTAM in place in the High Level Forest Area. This means no aircraft or drones permitted to fly in the NOTAM. Aircraft flying within the NOTAM can impact wildfire operations and can be subject to a fine.
OHV RESTRICTION LIFTED | AS OF MAY 22, 2020
Because of the precipitation in many areas of the province, the off-highway vehicle restriction in effect in the High Level Forest Area, the Peace River Forest Area, the northeastern part of Slave Lake and the rural areas surrounding Fort McMurray has been lifted. This restriction can be phased back in if needed to address wildfire risk area-by-area. We will continue to evaluate the situation daily.
If you choose to drive an off-highway vehicle in Alberta’s forested areas please remember:
- OHV exhausts can get very hot, reaching temperatures of over 200 Celsius, causing debris caught near the exhaust to become superheated. This debris can potentially start a wildfire when it falls to the ground.
- It is crucial for Albertans to stop and check OHVs and the ground for any debris that may have fallen.
- Before you ride, clean any debris that has built up near the exhaust and muffler, under the seat, in wheel wells and around the engine.
- Always carry a small fire extinguisher, a collapsible shovel and water. These tools can help extinguish a wildfire and safely dispose of hot debris.
FIRE BAN IN EFFECT | AS OF APRIL 15, 2020
The fire ban in the Forest Protection Area still applies at this time. The majority of spring wildfires are caused by humans, most are due to campfires and unsafe fires by residents. Less than one per cent of human-caused wildfires are caused by OHV use. The province is trying to eliminate as many potential human-caused wildfires as possible at this time, due to the COVID-19 pandemic response, and the possibility of reduced firefighter availability.
Please visit AlbertaFireBans.ca for a map of the affected area.
- outdoor wood fires
- backyard firepits
- barbeques with charcoal briquettes
- propane / natural gas powered appliances
- open flame CSA approved oil devices
- indoor wood fires
** All devices must be CSA approved and used as per manufacturer standards. An indoor wood fire is a fire inside a structure (such as a building, tent, or RV) and contained within a device with a chimney and spark arrestor. Users are still responsible for care and attendance of all devices and should reduce their use during fire restrictions and bans. Approved activities or devices will not prevent potential prosecution or litigation if the user or device starts a wildfire.
Fire permits are suspended or cancelled. Some allowances can be made for essential agricultural and industrial burning, but will need to be approved by a forest officer. Please call 780-926-5407.
For more information, please contact: Phone: 1-866-394-3473
High Level Forest Area,
Wildfire Information Officer
- 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