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Wildfire Season Starts Today

Alberta has declared an early start to the 2024 wildfire season, beginning 10 days early, today February 20, 2024. 

The impacts of the 2023 season showed Albertans the importance of a collective approach to dealing with disaster. Alberta is experiencing warmer than normal temperatures and below average precipitation in many areas of the province, leading to heightened wildfire risk. 

Declaring the beginning of the 2024 wildfire season provides additional measures to Alberta Wildfire, including the use of the fire ban and restriction system to help reduce human-caused wildfires in response to hazardous conditions. Permits will also now be required for burning in the Forest Protection Area.

“Alberta’s government will face the coming wildfire season head on, and we will do whatever is necessary to help Albertans and their communities stay safe from the impacts of wildfire. I want to encourage Albertans to remain vigilant and recreate responsibly.”

Todd Loewen, Minister of Forestry and Parks

Alberta Forestry and Parks is preparing for additional firefighters and, if passed, the 2024 budget will include funding to hire 100 new firefighters, which will result in five additional 20-person crews. These additional firefighters would be a critical addition to the Alberta Wildfire team.

“Wildfire prevention is a responsibility shared by all Albertans. I encourage everyone to follow FireSmart principles, to recreate responsibly while in or near forested areas, to obtain a fire permit prior to burning and to download the Alberta Wildfire app for up-to-date and accurate information.”

Bernie Schmitte, executive director, Alberta Wildfire

With the fire season now underway, everyone is encouraged to become familiar with FireSmart principles and to take an active role in wildfire prevention and mitigation by preparing their properties and communities accordingly.

Please exercise extreme caution in forested areas and avoid burning under warm, dry and windy conditions. It is crucial that everyone remain up-to-date on fire bans and restrictions in their areas to reduce the risk of human-caused wildfires, which represented more than 60 per cent of wildfires this past season.

The Province continues working hard to enhance wildfire prevention, preparedness, response and mitigation tactics. Alberta will employ enhanced nighttime wildfire operations, including ground suppression efforts and the use of night-vision equipped helicopters and nighttime heli-tanking.

For more information on wildfire preparedness, please visit 

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