Lac La Biche Area Update

VERY HIGH Wildfire Danger/FIRE BAN IN EFFECT - Lac La Biche Forest Area Wildfire Update - May 5, 2020

Posted on Wed, May 06, 2020


The wildfire danger for the Lac La Biche Forest Area is VERY HIGH, and the Fire Ban remains in effect.

Winds and dry weather are keeping the wildfire danger at HIGH.  The biggest wildfire danger is in the cured grass where fires that start will spread quickly under windy conditions.  Please check any winter burning sites for signs of smoldering ground fire or embers that the wind can stir into a wildfire.

The forecast for Wednesday is for a high of 19 degrees, humidity dropping to 20% and winds SE20km/hr.  Under these conditions, grass will continue to cure and fires that start will spread quickly. There is a chance for some precipitation and cooler temperatures across the northern portion of the area on Thursday/Friday.

So far today we have had three new wildfires. Two small wildfires near Janvier are Under Control and a fire at about six hectares in the Smith area is Being Held.  Today's wildfire activity continues to shows just how dry and volatile the grass is.  

We have had 42 wildfires this season. There are currently four wildfires in the area; three are Under Control, and one is Being Held.

Tomorrow we have 11 crews, six helicopters, six water trucks, four engine crews and one airtanker group positioned across the forest area to respond to any new wildfires.



As part of Alberta Wildfire's Response Plan to COVID-19, a Fire Ban was issued for the Forest Protection Area of Alberta effective April 15th at 2:00 pm.  These measures aim to reduce the number of human caused wildfires, as most if not all wildfires in the early spring are caused by human activity.  Reducing human caused wildfires helps keep our firefighting resources focused where they are most needed, especially when our firefighting resources may be challenged due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Anyone found to be non-compliant with the Fire Ban may receive a violation ticket of $600. 

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.

• Wood campfires on public lands.
• Wood campfires on private land and provincial campgrounds.
• Backyard firepits, and
• Barbeques with charcoal briquettes.

• Propane / natural gas powered appliances
• Open flame CSA approved oil devices
• Wood fires in an enclosed facility or device, which have a chimney with a spark arrestor
• OHVs

** All devices must be CSA approved and used as per manufacturer standards. An enclosed facility or device is one that is fully contained with a chimney that has a 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.

OHV Usage

As of right now, all Albertans may enjoy using their off-highway vehicles on public land until conditions change.

An off-highway vehicle restriction in the Forest Protection Area will be reintroduced if there is an increase in the hazard level. This phased approach will allow us to address the wildfire risk area-by-area, allowing Albertans the freedom to enjoy the outdoors as much as possible. We will re-evaluate daily.

These steps are part of a number of actions the department is implementing to help mitigate wildfire risks during the COVID-19 pandemic. Taking action in advance to reduce the number of human-caused wildfires will allow Alberta Wildfire to make the best possible use of resources when the availability of firefighters could be reduced because of the pandemic.

Alberta Agriculture and Forestry will be monitoring conditions, including the availability of firefighting crews and resources during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Fire Ban will remain in effect until conditions improve.

Please visit for a map of the affected area.

Highway 55 rescue crew and AB Wildfire

Alberta Wildfire crew members from Lac La Biche and Slave Lake, along with Highway 63 Rescue Crew.

For more information, please contact: 

Leslie Lozinski

Wildfire Information Officer





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