Currently, the wildfire danger for the Slave Lake Forest Area is HIGH for areas south of Utikuma Lake and MODERATE for areas to the north. Click here to see the wildfire danger map.
Firefighters urge everyone to continue to use caution in areas with dead grass. Dead grass is a fine fire fuel. Any moisture that fell on the dead grass will dry up quickly with sun and warm temperatures.When the dead grass is dry it will ignite easily and a wildfire will spread quickly. Report wildfires immediately by calling 310-FIRE (3743).
Fire lookouts are on alert constantly watching for smoke and firefighters in helicopters and airtankers are ready to respond to any new wildfires that may start.
A cold front is expected to move into northern Alberta this afternoon/evening. Rain and cooler temperatures are expected for Sunday and Monday.
Wildfire Update - May 16, 2020- 4:00 pm
There have been no new wildfires detected so far today.
Firefighters have extinguished the wildfire in the community of Gift Lake. The wildfire was accurately measured to be 7.9 hectares.
Since March 1 in the Slave Lake Forest Area, there have been 20 wildfires which have burned a total of 11.93 hectares.
The McMillan Wildfire which occurred during the 2019 wildfire season, remains under control and will be infrared scanned this spring.
Since March 1 in the Forest Protection Area of Alberta, there have been 181 wildfires burning a total of 163.55 hectares.
For more information on the current wildfire situation across the province of Alberta, visit wildfirestatus.alberta.ca.
Firefighters burning grass
Over the next several weeks, firefighters will be burning areas of dry grass in and around many communities in the Slave Lake Forest Area. These burns are conducted by trained firefighters and under specific conditions to ensure they are controlled and to minimize smoke. Spring grass burning lessens the risk of human–caused fires and helps protect homes and communities from future wildfires.
If you have any questions please call Wildfire Information Officer Leah Lovequist 780-849-0945.
Implementing a fire ban and OHV restriction is part of a number of actions the department has introduced 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.
Firefighters appreciate your cooperation with these measures and your efforts to prevent human-caused wildfires.
Off-highway vehicle restriction in effect
An OHV restriction is in effect within the Forest Protection Area (FPA) of Alberta in the High Level Forest Area, Peace River Forest Area, the northwestern portion of the Slave Lake Forest Area and the rural areas surrounding Fort McMurray.
What is an OHV
An “off-highway vehicle” is a motorized vehicle designed to go beyond defined roadways, including but not limited to:quads, side by sides, dirt bikes, 4x4 jeeps, pick-up trucks, sport utility vehicles and snowmobiles.
The recreational use of OHVs on public lands, including designated OHV trails.
Exceptions to the OHV restriction
Indigenous people when using an OHV for traditional purposes. Traditional purposes are hunting, fishing, and trapping – including the use of an OHV to travel to the location(s) for these practices.
Essential industry-related activities requiring the use of OHVs.
Off-highway vehicle use is permitted on private lands.
An off-highway vehicle restriction exemption is also in place for those licenced for the spring black bear hunt.
If you plan to go off-road in areas where OHV use is allowed keep in mind:
An off-highway vehicle’s exhaust 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.
Fire Ban in effect
There is a fire ban in effect for the Forest Protection Area of Alberta, as well as in Alberta provincial parks and protected areas, until further notice.
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.
• 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.
For more information regarding the Fire Ban and OHV Restriction, please contact:
Visit AlbertaFireBans.ca for a map of the affected areas.
Alberta Agriculture and Forestry is the wildfire authority (under the Forest and Prairie Protection Act) in the FPA of Alberta. Alberta Agriculture and Forestry manages and responds to all wildfires in this area and is responsible for issuing permits and putting on fire bans.
Even if they are within the FPA, any city, town, village or summer village has the authority to put on their own fire ban, restriction or advisory as they are outside Alberta Agriculture and Forestry’s jurisdiction.
The Town of Slave Lake has no restrictions or bans in place.
The Town of High Prairie has a fire restriction in place. Visit albertafirebans.ca for information.
Big Lakes County has a fire ban in place for the white zone of their municipality. Visit albertafirebans.ca for information.
Unless conditions change you can expect your next wildfire update on May17th.
If you have any questions please contact:
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