With spring upon us and wildfire/grassfire season underway, the Okotoks Fire Department want to share with you the FireSmart 101 course. More so than ever before, Canadians are feeling the direct and indirect impacts of grassfires. There is a growing need for education. FireSmart Canada has developed a FREE one-hour course for those who want to learn more.
Did you know that if you are riding an off-highway vehicle in Alberta’s forested areas, the exhaust system can ignite a wildfire? Be sure to regularly stop and clear debris from your hotspots. In dry conditions, a spark can quickly lead to a wildfire!
Wildfire season runs from March 1 to October 31 in Alberta. Wildfire hazards are typically highest in the spring months when fuel like trees and grasses have extremely low moisture content after the snow has melted and evaporated. As snow continues to melt across Alberta, areas of dead and dry grass are exposed, which pose a real risk for spring wildfires. There have already been 33 wildfires in Alberta this season. In 2020, Alberta saw 704 wildfires burn 3,269 hectares (or 8,078 acres) and of the 704 wildfires in 2020, 88% were human-caused.
If you are doing a burn on your acreage, don’t forget to always check your burn sites to make sure they’re out. Spread around any remaining debris so you can probe the area for hotspots. If you see smoke or feel heat, the fire is still burning. Douse any remaining hotspots with water and stir up the ashes. A fire is not out until there is absolutely no heat emanating from the ashes.
For up-to-date information on fire restrictions and fire bans in Okotoks visit https://www.okotoks.ca/fire-bans. If you live in Okotoks’ rural annexed land a fire permit is required and can be found at https://forms.okotoks.ca/Forms/Burn_Permit.