The snow may still be on the ground but the Government of Alberta has deployed wildland firefighters and equipment across the province in preparation for the upcoming wildfire season. In recent years, Alberta moved up its wildfire season from April 1 to Mar. 1. The season extends until Oct. 31.
“Our priority is keeping Albertans and our communities safe,” said Nate Horner, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Economic Development, in a media release Monday. “We continue to explore new technology and innovative wildland firefighting programs to evaluate what we need in Alberta’s wildfire management tool kit. We’re ready for whatever this summer throws at us.”
The province says most spring wildfires are human-caused wildfires and urges Albertans to be mindful of campfires and off-highway vehicle (OHV) exhaust, and agricultural burning.
The 2021 season saw 1,308 wildfires burn a total of 52,955 hectares in the FPA. More than 60 per cent of those were human-caused wildfires.
Fire permits are free and are required during wildfire season for activities like residential, industrial or agricultural debris burning within the Forest Protection Area (FPA).
Those living or operating a business within the FPA can call their local forest area office for a fire permit. Those outside the FPA can contact their local municipality to ask about fire permit requirements.