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   Volume 81 - Issue 32 Website:www.passherald.ca   email: news@passherald.ca   $1.00   
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Quote of the Week
"Campfires need to be cool enough to touch to be considered 'out'."
- Karen Ritchie, SRD  
   
   

 

 
A Very High wildfire danger rating was issued for the Southern Rockies last week, after weeks of little precipitation and warm temperatures.
Alberta Sustainable Resource Development Wildfire Information Officer Karen Ritchie said one of the key factors in determining a region’s wildfire danger rating is its Build Up Index (BUI), which measures the amount of fuel available for combustion in the area.
She said the BUI can be raised two to three points per day on hot, dry days, and 10 days of hot and dry weather can raise the BUI by as many as 30 points.
When the fire hazard is low, the BUI is between 0 and 24, and when it is very high, the BUI measures between 61 and 89.
Ritchie said the highest BUI in the Southern Rockies area at present is in the Highwood and Castle-Waterton areas.
She said presently, the Southern Rockies is the only region with a very high rating.
When it comes to a fire ban, Ritchie said the decision for an SRD ban would have to come from the Minister.
“A number of indices would be considered relative to fire hazard, including our capacity to respond to a fire, which... was the primary reason we were included in the provincial fire ban earlier this year, in spite of locally wet weather,” said Ritchie.
 

She added that area-specific fire bans are also possible, and can be implemented by local governments.
“The decision can be made by local authorities such as MDs and counties for their landbase without having an SRD ban in place.”
In order to reduce the risk of causing a wildfire, Ritchie urges caution by those who are using heat or flame outdoors.
“Campfires need to be cool enough to touch to be considered ‘out’,” she said. “Our adage is ‘soak it, stir it, and soak it again’.”
She also noted that ATV riders should keep to the trails and keep their machines clear of grasses, so as to decrease the risk of hot debris catching fire.
Since the beginning of April, Alberta has recorded 852 wildfires which have burned close to 940,000 hectares of land.
For more information on fire safety or updates on wildfire hazard, visit www.srd.alberta.ca/wildfire or visit the Alberta Wildfire Info page on Facebook.
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   Volume 81 - Issue 32 Website:www.passherald.ca   email: news@passherald.ca   $1.00   
 
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