Lac La Biche Area Update

Very High Wildfire Danger/FIRE BAN IN EFFECT - Lac La Biche Forest Area Wildfire Update - May 13, 2020

Posted on Wed, May 13, 2020

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The wildfire danger rating in the Lac La Biche Forest Area is VERY HIGH.  The fire ban remains in effect, and there is an OHV restriction in effect for a portion of the forest area. Cured, dry grass is the largest concern as fires that start will spread quickly under current conditions.

The forecast for Thursday is for a high of 8 degrees, humidity of 25%, and winds NW20km/hr gusting to 35km/hr. There is no precipitation in the forecast and temperatures will climb towards the end of the week. 

So far today we have had one new wildfire.  It is classified as under control.  

We have had 57 wildfires this season. 

Tomorrow we have 12 crews, eight helicopters, six water trucks, two engines and one airtanker group positioned across the forest area to respond to any new wildfires.

There are currently eight wildfires in the Forest Protection Area of Alberta. One of these is out of control, four are under control and three have been turned over to the responsible parties.

For more information on the current wildfire situation across the province of Alberta, visit wildfirestatus.alberta.ca.

FireBan

FIRE BAN IN EFFECT

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.

Prohibited
• wood campfires on public lands
• wood campfires on private land and provincial campgrounds
• backyard firepits
• barbeques with charcoal briquettes.

Allowed
• propane / natural gas powered appliances
• open flame CSA approved oil devices


** 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.

OFF-HIGHWAY RESTRICTION IN A PORTION OF THE LAC LA BICHE FOREST PROTECTION AREA

An OHV Restriction is in effect for Fire Control Zone 41. Currently, the balance of the Lac La Biche Forest Area  is not under an OHV Restriction. An off-highway vehicle restriction in the Forest Protection Area will be reintroduced to other areas if there is an increase in the danger level. We re-evaluate daily.

FCZ41MapEdited

For the OHV Restriction (red borders on the above map)

Fire Control Zone 41 includes:

  • Gregoire Lake Estates and Anzac, on the south side of the Fort McMurray Forest Area

Fire Control Zone does not include:

  • Janvier and areas south of Janvier in the Lac La Biche Forest Area

What is an OHV?

  • an “off-highway vehicle” is a motorized vehicle designed to go beyond defined roadways, including but not limited to:
  • quads
  • snowmobiles
  • side by sides
  • dirt bikes
  • 4x4 Jeeps;
  • pick-up trucks
  • sport utility vehicles

Anyone found to be non-compliant of the fire ban may receive a violation ticket of $600 and non-compliant with the OHV restriction, a violation ticket of $1200.

Exceptions

The OHV restriction does not apply to private land or agricultural, institutional (educational) or commercial/industrial use, emergency response or Indigenous peoples who use OHV for traditional purposes.  An OHV restriction exemption is also in place for those licensed for the spring bear hunt.

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.

** If you plan to go off-road outside of Fire Control Zone 41, keep in mind:

  • Off-highway vehicles 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 off-highway vehicles for debris 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.

Please visit AlbertaFireBans.ca for a map of the affected areas.

5DSR0446

Firefighters with pumps and hoses, heading to a water source.

Thanks for doing your part to prevent wildfire.

For more information, please contact: 

Leslie Lozinski

Wildfire Information Officer

780-623-9758



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