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Wildfire Update: No active wildfires in forest area

Wildfire helicopter bucketing. Government of Alberta photo.

Nicholas L. M. Allen

Jul 3, 2024

Vigilance urged for both residents and visitors in effort to reduce wildfire risk in the forest area that includes the Crowsnest Pass.

The Calgary Forest Area, which includes the Crowsnest Pass, is one of ten divisions under Alberta Wildfire’s jurisdiction. As of June 28, there are no reports of active wildfires in the area. 

Anastasia Drummond, Area Information Coordinator, confirms that the 2024 season has seen 51 wildfires burning approximately 12.5 hectares, a typical figure for this region.

“Our area extends from the Red Deer River south along the foothills to the Waterton Lakes National Park border, with some irregular boundaries,” Drummond explained, “We often see high fire danger in May, when the snow has melted but the vegetation hasn’t greened up yet. June rains usually help, but as the season progresses, particularly in the south, fire danger tends to climb slowly and steadily.”

A unique challenge for the Calgary Forest Area is the high proportion of human-caused wildfires. 

“While provincially 67 per cent of wildfires are caused by humans, in our area, it’s between 90 to 95 per cent, primarily due to recreational activities,” said Drummond, “This includes unattended or abandoned campfires, fireworks, and exploding targets, despite the latter two being prohibited in forest protection areas.”

Alberta Wildfire employs peace officers authorized to issue warnings and violation tickets under the Forest and Prairie Protection Act. 

“If you notice any dangerous activity, report it through the 310-FIRE line for fire-related incidents, 310-LAND for land abuse, or 911 for illegal activities,” said Drummond.

She emphasized the importance of checking for fire bans before heading out, especially during long weekends when human-caused wildfires spike. 

“Be responsible on the land. Keep campfires small, contained and always attended. Fully extinguish fires by soaking, stirring, and soaking again until no heat remains,” said Drummond, “If you see smoke or fire that isn’t being addressed, report it immediately to 310-FIRE. Early reporting helps us control fires before they grow too large.”

As summer progresses, residents and visitors should stay vigilant and adhere to fire safety guidelines to prevent wildfires in the Calgary Forest Area.

For more information or updates, please contact the Calgary Forest Area Information Office or visit the Alberta Wildfire website.

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