Fire season officially over for 2018

Callie Hermanson
Lakeside Leader

The 2018 wildfire season in Alberta has officially come to an end.

In the Slave Lake Forest Area, firefighters fought 168 wildfires which burned 6,872 hectares. The number of hectares burned this season was significantly less than the five-year average.

Overall Alberta has sent 681 firefighters out of province. Wildfire Information Officer Leah Lovequist says the low wildfire activity in the area allowed firefighters to help battle wildfires across Canada and the United States. She adds the Slave Lake Forest Area sent a total of 390 firefighters and support staff to Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia, Yukon, Northwest Territories, Idaho, Montana, and Washington.

Lovequist says fire permits are not required for burning, however, individuals are responsible for any fires they ignite and they must extinguish them prior to the start of the 2019 wildfire season.

Lovequist says if anyone is going to be conducting brush pile or windrow burning this winter, please report burn locations to Slave Lake Forest Area Wildfire Technologist Russell Murphy by calling 780-849-7457.

Lovequist explains for winter burning, burn when there is snow cover and the ground is frozen and winds are light (less than 12 km/h). When piling avoid mixing soil with the woody debris by using a brush rake or excavator.

Ensure the piles are at least 25 metres from trees, brush, and structures and only burn what you can control. Never leave your fire unattended; go back and make sure your fires are extinguished.

For more information on winter burning contact Lovequist at 780-849-0945.

Alberta Wildfire monitors and responds to wildfires year-round. Albertans are reminded to take care with any burning during the winter months. If you see a wildfire in the forest, report it at 310-FIRE (3473).

Winter brushpile burning.

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