Outdoor fire danger still exists

A firefighter battles a ground fire in 2021. The wildfire season that ends Oct. 31.

Richard Froese
South Peace News

People active in the outdoors are reminded to be careful as the official wildfire season ends Oct. 31.
Firefighters urge everyone to use caution when they work or recreate in grassy areas, says a news release Oct. 4 from Leah Lovequist, wildfire information officer for the Slave Lake Forest Protection Area.
“Although we are experiencing cool fall weather, it is still important to continue to do your part to prevent wildfires,” Lovequist says.
Areas of grass become dead and flammable in the fall.
Fire permits are required for any type of burning in the Slave Lake and Peace River forest protection areas until Oct. 31.
“Before you burn it, get a fire permit,” Lovequist says.
Permits are not required for campfires for cooking or warming.
“Fire permits help us to track what is burning on the landscape,” Lovequist says.
“If you’re burning without a fire permit or outside fire permit conditions, your fire is considered a wildfire.
“By getting a fire permit you help keep our firefighters free to fight real wildfires instead of responding to the smoke in your backyard.”
Lovequist advises people to ensure their campfire is extinguished.
“Soak it with water, stir up the ashes and soak it again,” Lovequist says.
“Use your bare hands to feel for heat.
“If the ashes feel cold, then the campfire is fully extinguished.”
Last year, 88 per cent of wildfires in Alberta were human caused.
“Do your part to prevent human-caused wildfires,” Lovequist says.
“When riding an off-highway vehicle, stop frequently to clear debris from the machine’s hotspots.
“Left unchecked debris can build up, begin to smoulder and fall to the ground, igniting a wildfire as you ride away.”
Free fire permits are available at Alberta Agriculture and Forestry offices.
To request a fire permit, phone the High Prairie office at [780] 523-6619 or Peace River at [780] 624-6190.

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