Now that the wildfire season is over, fire permits are no longer required for burning within the Forest Protection Area. However, safe burning practices are always in season. The risk of a wildfire doesn’t end when wildfire season does – any time there is a fire on the land, there is a risk that it can spread.
If fires aren’t properly put out, they can spread and burn underground, under the snow and ice, all winter. Under the right conditions, these fires can re-emerge in the spring as wildfires. Do your part to prevent spring wildfires by revisiting your winter burns to make sure there are extinguished.
Firefighters do respond to wildfires, even in the winter. If you spot a wildfire report it by calling 310-FIRE(3743).
From November 1st to February 28th fire permits are not required for burning in the Forest Protection Area of Alberta. Even though a fire permit is not required, you are still responsible for any fires you ignite outside of the wildfire season.
Take the time to properly prepare your burn site. Know the requirements needed to be successful during your burn and how to properly extinguish your site.
Prior to and while burning:
Winter burns should be conducted in areas with sufficient snow cover of more than 15 centimetres and burns must be monitored the entire time. Brush piles and windrows should be free of soil, built no higher than three metres and have a fireguard or cleared land around it to prevent the fire from spreading. Only burn what you can control with the equipment and people you have available, and adjust your burning according to .
Avoid creating smoky conditions by conducting winter burns on days with averages temperatures and wind speeds over five kilometres per hour. On days with lighter wind speeds and lower temperatures, inversions can occur causing smoke to stay close to the ground and travel great distances which causes dangerous driving conditions and can impact nearby communities.
Ensure smoke warning signs are in place before burning . For more information on smoke management and to acquire signs, contact your local municipality. If you are outside of a municipality, contact . Read over the for placement and instruction of a “Smoke Ahead” sign.
Fires ignited in the winter which are not properly extinguished, can burn underground all winter long and can re-emerge as wildfires in the spring. After your burn be sure to revisit your sites.
When putting out your winter burn:
- Spread remaining material within the pile and soak with water as required.
- Check the area and ensure both heat and smoke are no longer being produced by the pile – it should be cool to the touch.
- Check your burn site multiple times in the following weeks to ensure it has not reignited.
For more information on brush pile and windrow safe burning practices click here. If you have questions about your winter burning project please call Slave Lake Forest Area Wildfire Technologist Russell Murphy at 780-849-7457.
It is very important to know that all campfires must be fully extinguished no matter what time of year it is.
When you’re finished with your campfire, make sure you properly extinguish it.
When putting out your campfire:
- Spread the embers within the fire pit, then add water or loose dirt and stir.
- Expose any materials still burning, then add more water and stir again until you can no longer see smoke or steam.
- Repeat until your campfire is cool to the touch. You should not be able to feel any heat from the ashes.
Applications are being accepted until January 31st for Wildfire Community Preparedness Day 2022. Enter for your chance to receive $500 to put towards a neighbourhood FireSmart project or community education event!
Download the new 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.
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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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