The Mountaineer - Rocky Mountain House, Alberta, Canada
© 2007 The Mountaineer Publishing Company Limited.

Fire advisory in place for Rocky Forest Area

The weather over the past few weeks has provided some heat, wind and a lack of precipitation.
That is the formula for grass fires and wildfires.
A fire advisory is already put in place by the province for the Rocky Forest Area as of April 1.
Clearwater Regional Fire Rescue Services has already responded to at least one rural grass fire.
Alberta’s ministry of Agriculture and Forestry is the first responder to any wildfire in the Forest Protection Area (FPA). The local FPA includes all of Clearwater County west of Hwy. 22, plus the land north to the Pembina River and land south to the Red Deer River.
Under the forest advisory, existing fire permits are still valid. No new fire permits will be issued until the advisory is lifted.
Any burning without a valid fire permit, other than a campfire, is prohibited.
People are allowed to have safe wood campfires which means fires should be within a metal, brick, or rock fire ring. Campfires must be on rock, gravel, sand, or another non-combustible surface that extends at least one metre around the fire; have a responsible person in attendance to keep fire under control at all times and extinguish before leaving; have on hand enough water on site to extinguish the fire; safe wood campfires on private lands include private land campgrounds and private land recreation areas; and municipalities, parks and protected areas may have additional fire safety requirements.
If done safely, the public can use backyard fire pits, portable propane fire pits, gas or propane stoves and barbecues and catalytic or infrared-style heaters.
The province urges individuals to never leave a campfire unattended.
“Soak it, stir it and soak it again until cool to the touch to ensure it is extinguished. If you see a wildfire, report it immediately by calling 310-FIRE.”
The fire advisory will remain in effect until conditions improve. Fire bans may be put in place in the FPA if conditions worsen.
Clearwater County also has the authority to implement fire bans within its borders and the public can find this at the county’s website at clearwatercounty.ca.