Fire advisories issued by surrounding areas and counties
A number of counties and Special Areas around Drumheller have issued fire advisories due to the warm, dry weather developing this spring.
Wheatland County, Rocky View County, Stettler County and Special Areas 2, 3, and 4 have all issued Fire Advisories for moderate fire risk, with permit burning in these areas largely being prohibited, with exceptions made for campfires, incinerators, regulated burning barrels, camp stoves, barbecues, and chimeneas.
Judy Unsworth, the Fire and Emergency Management Coordinator for Wheatland County, says that although Alberta’s winter has been typically warm, it is not unusual for bans to be issued
so early in the season.
“We had a brown Christmas with very little moisture in Wheatland, with almost no snow cover, so there is a lot of dry fuel on the ground,” she said, adding that spring and fall are typically the driest and most dangerous times for wildfires as vegetation is dry and prone to ignition.
“One stray cigarette butt or ember is all it takes to spark a fire,” Unsworth said.
Airdrie and Beiseker RCMP as well as Rocky View Fire Services responded to a structure fire near Balzac on March 29 estimated to have caused around $2 million in damages and resulted in temporary road closures.
A number of Alberta jurisdictions have issued complete fire bans, the highest in the relatively new 3-stage rating system, including Okotoks, Taber, Lacombe, and Medicine Hat. There has been no advisory issued for Drumheller, but that may change depending on weather developments. A brush fire broke out alongside Riverside Drive on Satur- day evening but was quickly controlled and extinguished by Drumheller Fire Department. The website www.alber
tafirebans.ca contains a map of advisory and ban areas as well as details regarding prohibitions for specific counties in areas throughout the province.
Drumheller firefighters douse a brushfire which sparked up on Saturday evening alongside Riverside Drive. A number of counties and special areas around Drumheller have issued fire advisories due to the abnormally warm and dry winter conditions which have developed this year. Drumheller currently hasn’t issued advisories but that could change depending on weather.