The Alberta government has made a rare move, instating a province-wide fire ban, during the hot, dry weather across much of the province.
No campfires or open fires will be allowed in campgrounds, the back-country, or random camping areas. Barbecues and fire pits run on gas or propane are still allowed. Minister of Environment and Parks Shannon Phillips has also asked residents to limit their off-highway vehicle use as much as possible this weekend.
“We are appealing to Albertans’ common sense here, that when it is as dry as it is, when it is as hot as it is, and when we have so many wildfires already burning in Alberta, these are not appropriate activities.”
She also said that the government is away of the rarity of the precaution and its consequences, but the action has been taken after recommendation by officials.
The province is not invoking a full forest closure at this point, but Phillips says the step could be taken. She’s also implemented a ban of shooting at incendiary targets on Crown land.
“I don’t think any Albertan in this province right now, as we confront this crisis, wants to be the person that diverted necessary resources away from Fort McMurray, or elsewhere, onto a fire that was entirely preventable,” says Phillips, stressing the need to ensure more wildfires aren’t sparked.