Persistent hot, dry conditions in the area are leading many communities throughout central Alberta to issue fire bans, restrictions and advisories this week.
Communities that have issued a fire ban this week include the City of Red Deer, Red Deer County, Town of Penhold, Town of Blackfalds, Town of Sylvan Lake, Lacombe County, Kneehill County and Rocky View County.
This means no open flames such as camp fires or burning barrels are permitted with no new fire permits to be issued either until the bans are lifted.
The County of Stettler No. 6 meanwhile is under a fire restriction, which allows burning barrels to be used provided they are covered with a metal mesh screen with openings no larger than 13 mm, allows fire pits contained by non-combustible material with a metal mesh screen with openings no larger than 13 mm and allows authorized burning at waste transfer sites but prohibits the issuance of fire permits and the discharge of all fireworks.
Communities under a fire advisory include the Town of Rocky Mountain House, Rocky Mountain House Forest Area, Clearwater County, Village of Caroline, Summer Village of Burnstick Lake and Village Halkirk.
Fire advisories cancel all active fire permits and prohibit any issuance of new fire permits until the advisory is lifted.
They do allow however safe wood campfires in campgrounds (within fire rings), backyards, or random camping areas, charcoal briquettes, portable propane fire pits, gas or propane stoves and barbecues and catalytic or infrared-style heaters.
Alberta Parks officials remind you that off-highway vehicles can start wildfires, so you’re reminded to check frequently to ensure hotspots are free of debris, and make sure mufflers and spark arrestors are working properly.
Also, smokers are asked to dispose of cigarette butts responsibly and for campers to never leave a campfire unattended. Soak it, stir it and soak it again until cool to the touch to ensure it is extinguished.
For a complete list of fire bans, advisories and restrictions across the province, visit albertafirebans.ca.
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