It’s hot and dry in southern Alberta, and the provincial agriculture department has imposed a ban on open fires on private land, the back country and non-designated camping sites due to the high fire hazard risk.
The ban, effective today affects the Calgary Forest Area, which extends south of Highway 32 along the mountains and foothills to the northern boundary of Waterton Lakes National Park.
Agriculture Minister Oneil Carlier said all fire permits are suspended and no new ones will be issued until further notice. Fireworks and exploding targets are also prohibited.
For campers, fires are permitted in designated fire rings within parks. Gas or propane stoves and barbecues can also be used.
The fine for contravening the ban is $287, but offenders can be charged with the costs of fighting any resulting fire.
Smoke drifting into Alberta from wildfires burning in British Columbia has also resulted in air quality advisories in some parts of the province.
Across the south, fire bans have been imposed in the City of Lethbridge river valley, Lethbridge County, Rockyview County, Kneehill County, Red Deer County, Lacombe County, Vulcan County, Municipal District of Foothills, MD of Taber and MD of Willow Creek.
Many other municipalities in the south have enacted fire restrictions. Details can be found at https://www.albertafirebans.ca.