Permit needed for fireworks in forests

Setting off fireworks and exploding targets in the forest protection area can be very dangerous and cause wildfires.

Richard Froese
South Peace News

Anyone planning to celebrate Canada Day on July 1 with fireworks or exploding targets in the forest protection area needs a permit.

Slave Lake Forest Area wildfire information officer Leah Lovequist says it is important to have a permit.

“To prevent wildfires, the use of fireworks and exploding targets in the forest protection area of Alberta requires written permission from a forest officer,” Lovequist says in a news release June 16.

“If you do not have written permission, you could face a fine of $600.

“If you are found responsible for starting a wildfire, you could also be charged with the cost of firefighting.”

Anyone who wishes to use fireworks or exploding targets is requested to contact their local Alberta Agriculture and Forestry office to request permission.

“A site inspection will also be required, so please plan ahead and call at least three days before July 1,” Lovequist says.

To request permission for use within municipal limits, she advises people to contact their local fire department.

Since the 2021 wildfire season started March 1, Alberta firefighters have fought three unintentional wildfires started by exploding targets.

“While fun, exploding targets and fireworks and exploding targets can cause unintentional wildfires,” Lovequist says.

“Fireworks and exploding targets create hot debris when they are detonated.

“That debris can cause a wildfire when it comes into contact with fuels in the forest, such as dry grass.”

To request permission for fireworks or exploding targets in a forest protection area, phone the local Alberta Agriculture and Forestry office.

For information, phone the High Prairie office at [780] 523-6619, Slave Lake office at [780] 849-7377 or Peace River at [780] 634-6190.

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