Smoke drifts in; lightning starts fires up north

Callie Hermanson
Lakeside Leader

Recent rain has brought relief to the wildfire danger bringing the alert up to high Leah Lovequist, the Wildfire Information Officer for the Slave Lake Forest area, says Lightning sparked seven new wildfires from August 1 to the 2. Two are being held, one is under control and four have been extinguished. The majority of these wildfires were 0.01 hectares in size. The largest wildfire, Slave Lake Wildfire Number 132, is located approximately 36 kilometres northeast of Chipewyan Lakes. It is 66.5 hectares and is classified as being held. There are 40 firefighters and four helicopters fighting this wildfire.

Since March 1st, in the Slave Lake Forest Area, there have been 139 wildfires which have burned 6,681.35 hectares. Firefighters continue to patrol these wildfires for smouldering ground fires.

To view the locations of wildfires in Alberta visit www.wildfirestatus.alberta.ca.

Smoke from wildfires burning in the Yukon, Alaska and potentially as far away as Russia continues to drift into the Slave Lake Forest Area.
Lovequist recommends visiting Alberta Health Link or dialing 811 if anyone is experiencing respiratory difficulties as a result of the smoke.

For the current smoke forecast, see www.firesmoke.com

Fire permit holders must postpone burning, as strong and gusty winds are expected will exceed the safe burning conditions on the fire permit.

Lovequist reiterates that a campfire for cooking or warming does not require a fire permit. Make sure campfires are out, she says. Soak them with water, stir up the ashes and soak again. A campfire is out when the ashes are cold to the touch. Never leave a burning campfire unattended and when you leave your site. Keep up to date on the wildfire situation by subscribing to the Slave Lake Forest Area Wildfire Update or download the free Alberta Wildfire app for Apple or Android devices. If anyone has questions call Lovequist at 780-849-0945.

Wildfire south of Fawcett Lake on July 29.

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