Dry conditions prompt fire ban
Published Tuesday, May 15, 2012 2:51PM MDT
The province has issued a fire ban because of tinder dry conditions in forested areas and say there is a high to extreme wildfire hazard.
Three wildfires are currently burning in northern Alberta and officials are urging people to take precautions to avoid starting fires in the first place.
The fires are in the Grassland, Lodgepole, and Bonnyville areas and officials say that one of the fires was started by lightning while another was sparked by an ATV. There is no information yet on what caused the third blaze.
Officials say that most of the fires have been caused by people and add that they could have been prevented.
"Albertans play an important role in helping to prevent new wildfires. Whether it is extinguishing their campfires or cleaning off highway vehicles, it is very important that they are doing all these things and take preventative measures," says Whitney Exton, Provincial Wildlife Information Officer.
The ban covers multiple campgrounds and locations north of Manning and east to north of Fort McMurray.
The counties of Rocky View and Clearwater have also issued fire bans.
The provincial fire ban prohibits:
- Lighting of outdoor fires: campfires, bonfires, torches, burning barrels, hibatchis
- The use of portable campfires
The ban does not affect fires contained within:
- A cooking or heating appliance, other than portable campfires, which are fuelled by fluids or compressed gas
- An engineered fire receptacle in designated camping and recreation areas
- Walled tents with air tight stoves with proper screening as approved by a forest officer
- Industrial facilities or on industrial sites as approved by a forest officer
People who violate the ban could face a fine of up to $5,000.
For current information on the ban, visit the Alberta Fire Bans website.