Wild­fire sea­son be­gins in Al­berta March 1

Medicine Hat News - - COMMUNITY -

Al­berta Agri­cul­ture and Forestry is re­mind­ing Al­ber­tans March 1 is the be­gin­ning of wild­fire sea­son.

“Pro­tect­ing Al­ber­tans from the threat of wild­fire is one of our high­est pri­or­i­ties. That’s why we leg­is­lated March 1 as the start of fire sea­son, rec­og­niz­ing that re­cent trends show wild­fires are start­ing ear­lier in the spring. The wild­fire that burned into Fort McMur­ray last year serves as a re­minder of how im­por­tant it is for us to be ready to re­spond to wild­fires at a mo­ment’s no­tice,” said Agri­cul­ture and Forestry Min­is­ter Oneil Car­lier.

Last year, 1,338 wild­fires burned more than 611,000 hectares, in­clud­ing the Horse River wild­fire that spread into Fort McMur­ray. The new For­est and Prairie Pro­tec­tion Act in­creases penal­ties for aban­don­ing camp­fires or burn­ing dur­ing fire bans. It also im­proves the gov­ern­ment’s abil­ity to re­strict higher-risk ac­tiv­i­ties, such as fire­works and in­cen­di­ary tar­gets dur­ing haz­ardous fire con­di­tions.

With the start of fire sea­son, per­mits will be re­quired for any burn­ing, out­side of camp­fires, in the For­est Pro­tec­tion Area of Al­berta. Fire per­mits are free and can be ob­tained by con­tact­ing your lo­cal Al­berta Agri­cul­ture and Forestry of­fice. Phone toll-free 3100000 to lo­cate your near­est of­fice.

To learn about what more you can do to pre­vent wild­fires, go to the Al­berta Wild­fire web­page or down­load the Al­berta wild­fire mo­bile app for An­droid and Ap­ple de­vices.

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