Rain brings relief, campfire bans eased

Richard Froese
South Peace News

Campfires are now allowed in the Peace River and Slave Lake forest areas, say news releases May 26.

Due to reduced wildfire hazard, advanced operational preparedness, and favourable weather conditions in many areas of the province, the fire ban in the Forest Protection Area dropped to a fire advisory from a fire ban.

A fire advisory means Albertans in the Forest Protection Area can safely enjoy the a campfire in fire pit in their backyard, charcoal briquettes on a barbecue or a safe campfire, state updates from wildfire information officers Crystal Burrows for Peace River and Leah Lovequist for Slave Slake.

“We expect this fire advisory to reduce the number of human-caused wildfires in Alberta, while allowing Albertans to enjoy outdoor activities as much as possible,” Burrows and Lovequist say.

The wildfire danger for the Peace River Forest Area was moderate and high for the Slave Lake Forest Area on May 28.

Permitted burning

  • -Safe wood campfires.
  • -Backyard fire pits.
  • -Charcoal briquette barbecues.
  • -Use of propane, natural gas or powered appliances.
  • -Catalytic or infrared-style heaters.
  • -Safe burning with a permit.
  • -Recreational OHV use.

Burning not permitted

  • -Burning without a permit, excluding campfires.
  • -Unattended or unsafe campfires.

“These precautions were put in place as part of the COVID-19 pandemic response plan to avoid multiple disasters at a time when resources may be limited,” Lovequist and Burrows say.

“We re-evaluate daily.”

Some 200 additional firefighters were hired and are now trained and positioned to respond to new wildfires.

Restrictions can be phased back in as necessary to address wildfire risk area-by-area, say Burrows and Lovequist.

For a fire permit or more information, please phone the High Prairie office at [780] 523-6619 or Peace River office at [780] 624-6190.

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