2020 Wildfire Season

No community fire ban in High Level at this time
April 15, 2020

Effective April 15, the Provincial Government has instituted a fire ban in the Forest Protection Area throughout Alberta. This includes all areas outside the Town of High Level.

Communities located within the Forest Protection Area have the option of instituting fire bans at their discretion.

Due to the current conditions in High Level, including the fact there is still snow on the ground and there is no appreciable fire hazard in the community, the Town of High Level is choosing not to institute a fire ban on recreational fire pits at this time.

Land clearing fires or debris fires will not be permitted. Fire pits that fulfill the Town’s safety requirements are permitted.

“We believe with people at home self-isolating at this time, the ability to go in their back yard and use an approved pit for a campfire or a hot dog roast is important,” said Rodney Schmidt, Director of Protective Services and Fire Chief. “We want to be able to give families an opportunity to spend family time in their back yards without worrying whether they can have a fire.”

In regards to the Provincial Government’s ban on recreational off-highway vehicle use in effect for all Crown land, the Town of High Level has a seasonal off-highway vehicle ban that runs from March 31 to Nov. 15 every year.

There is no change to this ban from previous years. The ban is in place to reduce damage to property from ATVs and other vehicles when the ground is susceptible to that damage. Community Peace Officers will be actively enforcing that ban.


NO FIRE BAN

Fire Ban and OHV Restriction in Effect | April 15, 2020

As part of Alberta Wildfire's Response Plan to COVID-19, A Fire Ban and OHV Restriction have been issued for the Forest Protection Area of Alberta effective April 15th at 2:00 pm.

These measures aim to reduce the number of human caused wildfires, as most if not all wildfires in the early spring are caused by human activity. Reducing human caused wildfires helps keep our firefighting resources focused where they are most needed, especially when our firefighting resources may be challenged due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The OHV restriction does not apply to private land or agriculture, institutional (educational), commercial/ industrial, emergency response or Indigenous peoples who use OHV for traditional use.

Anyone found to be non-compliant of the fire ban may receive a violation ticket of $600 and non-compliant with the OHV restriction, a violation ticket of $1200.

To view a map of the Fire Ban and OHV Restriction please visit www.albertafirebans.ca

PROHIBITED

1. All open fires including campfires in campgrounds, backcountry and random camping areas and backyard fire pits.

2. Charcoal briquettes, turkey fryers and tiki torches.

3. Fireworks and exploding targets.

4 The use of off-highway vehicles for recreational use on all public lands.

ALLOWED

1. Portable propane fire pits that are CSA approved or UL certified.

2. Gas or propane stoves and barbecues that are CSA approved or UL certified and are designed for cooking or heating.

3. Catalytic or infrared-style heaters.

4. OHVs for industrial use, agricultural use, and traditional use by Indigenous peoples, as well as use on private lands.

FIRE PERMTS

All fire permits are suspended or cancelled. Under authority of a Forest Officer, burning on industrial sites (energy, forestry) or essential agricultural debris disposal, may be approved on a case by case basis. Please call 780-926-5407.

WHAT IS AN OHV?

An “off-highway vehicle” is a motorized vehicle designed to go beyond defined roadways, including but not limited to:

1. Quads;

2. Side by sides;

3. Dirt bikes;

4. 4x4 Jeeps;

5. Pick-up trucks; or

6. Sport utility vehicles

7. Snowmobiles

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COVID-19 & WILDLAND FIREFIGHTING

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the health and safety of all firefighters and support staff remains a top priority. New safety measures are being developed in cooperation with workplace health and safety officials as adjustments to our wildfire operations. Details can be found here.