Wildfire season begins in Alberta

By / Dave Dormer

CALGARY — Despite there being snow on the ground and the temperature hovering around the freezing mark, wildfire season began in Alberta on Sunday — running from March 1 to Oct. 31.

Wildfire season begins April 1 in most other provinces.

“Almost all spring wildfires are caused by human activity and are completely preventable,” reads a release from the province.

“Human-caused wildfires are generally accidental in nature — often started by an out-of-control campfire or spark from an off-highway vehicle. Dead and dry grass, twigs, leaves and branches provide fuel for fast-moving grassfires. Whether started by accident or arson, wildfires can cause major environmental damage.”

Last year saw 989 fires reported in Alberta, which burned 883,411 hectares, according to the province.

“Most wildfires are preventable. More than 70 per cent of Alberta wildfires last year were caused by humans – and the McMillan wildfire near Slave Lake was started by arson,” said Agriculture and Forestry Minister Devin Dreeshen, in a release.