Warm and dry weather prompts Alberta to declare an early start to wildfire season

The Canadian Press in the Calgary Herald
February 20, 2024
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

EDMONTON — The Alberta government has declared an early start to the 2024 wildfire season in the face of low snowpacks and forecasts of dry weather to come. Alberta Forestry and Parks Minister Todd Loewen said Tuesday the season is now underway — 10 days earlier than the usual start of March 1. Loewen said his department is asking for enough extra funding in the budget to hire an extra 100 firefighters. If that request is approved, they will be in the field by May 15, he said. That’s in addition to the 900 firefighters the province fielded in 2023, who are expected to be ready by April 15, said Loewen. …Loewen also said a permit is now required for any burning in the forest protection area. Fire bans are likely to follow. “We’re going to be more proactive (on fire bans) than we were last year.

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