The wildfire hazard in the Grande Prairie region has been bumped up to high, and a Fire Advisory has been put in place.
Heavy winds in Thursday’s forecast have led to the change.
“We’re expecting winds 30, gusting up to 55 [kilometres per hour], which could create a bit of a problem just given that we’ve had a few sunny days and we’ve got a lot of cured grass out there,” said Melinda Paplawski, Wildfire Information Officer for the Grande Prairie Forest Area. “The main thing with the fire advisory is it will affect those who have fire permits… the conditions on their permits would specify no burning over 12 kilometres per hour.”
There is rain in this weekend’s forecast, so Paplawski doesn’t anticipate the advisory will remain in effect for too long.
“Camp fires, of course, are still permitted. But definitely don’t have any big fires right now. The big thing too with all this cured grass is quads. So, if you’ve got quads, side-by-sides, or if you’re with a work truck say in a grass field, make sure you keep an eye behind you, and that you’re keeping track of what’s underneath the vehicle,” Paplawski added.
There have been seven wildfires so far this season in the Grande Prairie area, burning a total of 2.25 hectares.
A total of 159 wildfires have ignited around the province thus far in 2017, burning 623.34 hectares.
If you notice smoke in a wooded area dial 310-FIRE.