As of July 19, some areas in the southern part of Alberta will not be allowed fires.
The ban on fires — which includes all campgrounds — is in effect for the Forest Protection Areas that are along the mountains and the foothills from Highway 532 in Kananaskis Country all the way down to the northern boundary of Waterton Lakes National Park.
The ban will stay in place until further notice, but propane stoves or barbecues plus portable propane fire pits will be allowed.
A fire restriction is now in effect for the Forest Protection Area from Highway 523 north to the Red Deer River, located southwest of Sundre. Only campfires in designated fire rings in campground are permitted in this area.
As a result, all fire permits have been suspended with no new ones being issued in either region. In addition, fireworks and exploding targets are also prohibited in those regions. Anyone violating the ban or restriction could face a $287 fine.
“Continued hot and dry weather has elevated the fire hazard to extreme levels in some areas of the province, so we are taking this proactive step to help ensure the safety of Albertans and protect our forested areas,” stated Oneil Carlier, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, in a press release.
The ban comes with B.C. reeling from a devastating wildfire season and fires in Banff National Park, which has led to air advisory warnings being issued.
National and provincial parks, along with various municipalities — counties, town, cities — that may also have bans or restrictions in place. For information on those, head to www.albertafirebans.ca.