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Wildfire risk in Calgary Forest Area 'very high' as province implements fire ban

A campfire is seen in this undated file image. (Pixabay/Pexels) A campfire is seen in this undated file image. (Pixabay/Pexels)

The wildfire danger risk in the Calgary Forest Area (CFA) has been elevated to “very high,” as a fire ban covering a significant chunk of Alberta comes into effect.

Alberta Wildfire said extremely high temperatures and a lack of precipitation helped elevate the danger rating, in an update Wednesday.

“Although there is no organized precipitation expected, these conditions are conducive to the development of afternoon thunderstorms,” Alberta Wildfire said in the update.

There were no active wildfires in the CFA as of Wednesday. Crews have responded to 52 wildfires in the CFA which burned 12.51 hectares, since Jan. 1.

The Calgary Forest Area includes a large area in southwestern Alberta, stretching from areas west of Carstairs, Cochrane and Calgary, down to west of Pincher Creek.

Fire ban

The province also announced it would be implementing a fire ban across the entire Forest Protection Area, effective 4 p.m. on Wednesday.

The ban affects all campgrounds and random camping areas in public land use zones, within the forest area.

A map of Alberta showing the Forest Protection Area, highlighted in pink. (Source: Government of Alberta)

Under the fire ban, fire permits are suspended or cancelled and no new permits will be issued.

Prohibited activities include any type of open burning, including brush piles and burn barrels; fireworks and exploding targets, campfires in random camping areas, designated campgrounds and day-use areas; backyard fire pits and charcoal briquettes.

Portable propane fire pits along with gas or propane-fueled stoves and barbecues are allowed to be used.

Cities, towns, villages and summer villages within the Forest Protection Area, as well as federal lands such as national parks, are exempt from the ban but may have implemented their own restrictions.

Across Alberta, there have been 647 wildfires recorded in the Forest Protection Area that have burned 177,157.47 hectares since Jan. 1. Top Stories

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