Live-fire training season has begun at Canadian Forces Base Suffield in southeastern Alberta and those in the area may notice loud noises, use of weapons and various other activities on site.
The base issued a news release last week informing the public that Exercise Prairie Storm, a training program for the British Army, will run until June 5 and will include day and night military activities.
Last September, base personnel detonated unexploded ordinance that started a prairie wildfire that spread from the base onto surrounding land. It killed cattle, burned thousands of acres of grasslands and one rancher’s home, as well as stored feed, fences and other private property.
This year, the base specifically addressed the fire issue in its release.
“CFB Suffield Fire Services and the Range Control Field Operations Section are highly trained and ready to fight fires in the training area and surround communities,” it said.
CFB Suffield noted access to the base and training area is strictly controlled.
As well, it reminded the public not to pick up or keep bombs, grenades, shells or similar objects as souvenirs should they be found. Police should be contacted instead.
The military exercises may require soldiers to cross the South Saskatchewan River, so members of the public who want to use the portion of the river that runs through the base should first contact Range Control so they don’t pass through at the same time as training activities.
The number to call about that or about any concerns is 403-544-4310.