It’s wildfire season in Alberta, and it’s time to practice fire safety and take steps to protect our property.
Last year, Alberta saw 1,246 wildfires that burned nearly 131,000 hectares of land. Most of these fires, at 61 per cent, were caused by people, which usually means they could have been prevented.
This wildfire season – from March until the end of October – stay on the lookout for wildfire, and be ready if one threatens your community.
If you see a wildfire, call 911, or 310-FIRE (310-3473) in a forested area.
Safe Burning and Fire Prevention
Some of the ways people cause wildfires include operating an off-highway vehicle (OHV), having a campfire or using fireworks. Being safe when doing these activities reduces the risk of wildfire.
- Visit our fire bans page or albertafirebans.ca to see if there is a fire advisory, restriction or ban in your community before you have a fire or discharge fireworks.
- If you smoke, only dispose of cigarettes in appropriate containers and never discard them from a moving vehicle.
- Only burn what you can control, never leave a fire unattended, and fully extinguish fire pits and burn barrels after use. Learn more about safe burning and fire permits.
- Before you ride an OHV, clean out hot spots – including exhaust and muffler, under the seat, in wheel wells and engine and manifold – and remove debris from your machine. Remove build-up from your machine throughout your ride, and carry a fire extinguisher with you in case there is a fire. Learn more wildfire prevention tips for OHV users.
Protecting Your Home
Homes can be easily ignited by embers from an area wildfire. Learn FireSmart methods to make your home less vulnerable to wildfires:
- Remove items that can burn – like dried branches, leaves, lawn furniture, propane tanks, firewood and debris – from within 1.5 metres (five feet) of your home.
- Remove and properly dispose of debris, leaves and other material from your roof and gutters.
- Remove dead vegetation and other items from under your deck or porch. Screen or box-in areas below decks to prevent debris and other materials from gathering.
- Keep your lawn watered and maintained. Dry grass and shrubs are fuel for wildfire.
- Prune trees so the lowest branches are at least 1.75 metres (six feet) from the ground. Make sure branches are at least 15 metres (five feet) from your home, deck or fence.