Fire season begins, Minister Loewen urges safety

Richard Froese
South Peace News

Peace – Notley MLA and Forestry, Parks and Tourism Minister Todd Loewen reminds people to be safe and cautious around outdoor fires during Alberta wildfire season from March 1 to Oct. 31.
“As folks look forward to enjoy Alberta’s wonderful outdoor spaces over the months ahead, we’re focussed on keeping communities safe,” Loewen writes in a news release Feb. 27.
“It is important that everyone plays an active role to prevent wildfires from starting.”
He adds that resources are ready to respond any time to emergencies.
“Alberta Wildfire has leading-edge firefighting resources positioned across the province ready to respond to new wildfires as they arise and continues to test and implement emerging tools and innovation designed to increase our wildfire management capabilities,” Loewen says.
Nearly all spring wildfires in Alberta are caused by humans, which means that wildfires are preventable.
The spring wildfire hazard is highest after seasonal melting has left fuels like trees and grasses extremely dry and flammable.
Under those circumstances, wildfires can ignite easily and spread quickly.
While it is too early to predict what the 2023 wildfire season will look like, spring rainfall will have a significant impact on what can be expected.
At any time of year, Alberta Wildfire’s online dashboard is the trusted source for real-time wildfire information.
During the high-hazard time in spring, and throughout the wildfire season, it is critical that people take care to fully extinguish campfires, frequently check off-highway vehicles (OHVs) for smouldering debris and conduct agricultural burning projects safely.
Fire permits are free and required during wildfire season for activities like residential, industrial or agricultural debris burning within the Forest Protection Area.
Those operating a business or living in an FPA can obtain their fire permit online at or by phoning the local FPA offices in High Prairie at (780)-523-6619, Slave Lake at (780)-849-7377 or Peace River at (780)-624-6191.
Anyone living outside the FPA may contact their local municipality to ask about fire permit requirements.
To report a wildfire, phone 310-FREE (310-3473) toll-free from anywhere in Alberta.
Up-to-date information on wildfire advisories, restrictions, band and OHV restrictions is available online at or by please phoning (1-866)-FYI-FIRE (1-866-394-3473).

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