Dry, windy conditions during the first week of April have prompted Wildfire Information Officer Leah Lovequist to issue a caution to everyone regarding burning.
Areas of dead grass are extremely dry. Under windy conditions a wildfire will spread very quickly.
“Spring is the time of year when wildfires are 100 per cent preventable,” says Lovequist. “Most, if not all of the wildfires we see at this time of year are human-caused. Please do your part to prevent wildfires this spring.”
Winter burns should be checked to ensure they are extinguished.
“When checking your brush piles, spread around any remaining debris so you can probe the area for hotspots,” she says. “Use your bare hand to feel for heat over the ash piles.”
If you see smoke or feel any heat, the fire is still burning beneath the surface. Douse any remaining hot spots with water and stir up the ashes.
“A fire is not completely extinguished until there is absolutely no heat emanating from the ashes,” says Lovequist.
A campfire left smouldering can cause a wildfire.
“Never leave your campfire unattended and make sure it’s out.”
An our off-highway vehicle can also start a wildfire.
“Check your off-highway vehicle frequently for any smouldering debris,” says Lovequist. “Grass, muskeg, moss or other debris can drop to the ground as you’re riding and spark a wildfire.”
Over the next several weeks, firefighters will be burning areas of dry grass in and around many communities in the Slave Lake Forest area. Burning helps to remove the dangerous build-up of dry grass that becomes prominent around many communities in the spring.
If you have any questions please feel free to contact WildfireInformation Officer Leah Lovequist at  849-0945.
Fire permits are required for any type of burning in the Forest Protection Area. Permits are free and can be obtained by calling your local Agriculture and Forestry office. In High Prairie, call  523-6619; in Wabasca, call  891-3860; on in Slave Lake, Red Earth, Peerless Lake and Trout Lake, call  849-7377.
“By getting a fire permit you help keep our firefighters free to fight real wildfires instead of investigating the smoke in your backyard,” says Lovequist.
Campfires do not require a fire permit.