Province says preventing wildfires is a shared responsibility

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Above: A human-caused wildfire from this past fall burns in southern Alberta near the Coleman area. Albertans need to do their part to prevent wildfires. – GOA Photo

by Morinville News Staff

Despite snow and ice still being in varying quantities throughout the province, Alberta wildfire officials are currently preparing for this year’s fire season.

Last fire season, 1,231 fires burned more than 49,000 hectares in Alberta. Of those, 789 were human-caused wildfires.

The province says firefighters and support staff are training and readying equipment and aircraft to be fully operational for the start of fire season on March 1.

“The protection of Albertans and their communities is one of our highest priorities and our firefighters will be ready to fight wildfires when they start,” said Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Oneil Carlier in a release Friday. “We are ready, but we need every Albertan’s help. We’re asking everyone to do their part in preventing fires.”

Fire permits will be required starting Mar. 1 for any burning, except campfires, in the Forest Protection Area of Alberta.

The government says getting a fire permit ensures that firefighters know exactly where burning is being done in the forest, helping prevent false calls, which take firefighters away from potential real wildfire-response.

Fire permits are free and can be requested from any Agriculture and Forestry office. The province has a toll-free number to report fires at 310-FIRE (3473).

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