Fire hazard high, burning ban continues

Callie Hermanson
Lakeside Leader

Wildfire danger for the Slave Lake Forest Area has climbed to extreme. Rain last week only affected the southern part of the district. North of Lesser Slave Lake got nothing.

Lots happened during the week, fire-wise, but nothing got away, says Wildfire Information Officer Leah Lovequist.

“There were 12 new fires on the 15th and 16th,” Lovequist says. “All human-caused.”

The fires were mostly in the High Prairie area, plus one or two around Wabasca.

Lovequist says in response to the very high wildfire danger, the fire towers are constantly watching for smoke. A Fire Advisory has been issued for the Slave Lake Forest Area due to dry and windy conditions. All current fire permits are suspended, and no new fire permits will be issued until further notice.

Lovequist says safe wood campfires are allowed, along with traditional burning such as smudging, sweathouses, and smokehouses, charcoal briquettes, portable propane fire pits, gas or propane stoves, barbecues and catalytic or infrared-style heaters.

As always, check the hot spots on your off-highway vehicle and remove debris before and after use. Never leave a campfire unattended. Soak it, stir it, and soak it again until cool to the touch to ensure it is extinguished.

The Fire Advisory will remain in effect until conditions improve.
Since March 1, 2018, the Slave Lake Forest Area has recorded 28 wildfires that have burned a total of 29.71 hectares.

As of May 16, 25 firefighters and heavy equipment workers were on a wildfire located at the intersection of Township Road 770 and Range Road 163, east of Winagami Lake Provincial Park. The wildfire as of that date was 10.8 hectares in size and was being held. Being held means under current weather conditions and firefighting efforts the wildfire is not expected to spread.

Report wildfires immediately by calling 310-FIRE (3473).

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