Fire ad­vi­sories is­sued by sur­round­ing ar­eas and coun­ties

The Drumheller Mail - - FRONT PAGE - Kyle Smylie

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.

sub­mit­ted

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.

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