Alberta Implements Burn Ban Until Further Notice

"Albertans stand with the people of Fort McMurray who have been evacuated and our first responders as they work to protect Albertans and critical infrastructure. The single best thing we all can do to help protect Alberta from wildfires is to ensure we are not creating additional risk," said Shannon Phillips, the province's minister of Environment and Parks.

Alberta officials on May 5 announced a fire ban for the entire province and additional measures to reduce fire risk, as wildfires cause a massive evacuation of the city of Fort McMurray. Premier Rachel Notley's goverment said all fire permits were suspended, no new fire permits will be issued, and all open fires, including campfires and charcoal briquettes, are banned.

Use of incendiary targets is also banned, and the provincial government is urging the public to avoid off highway vehicles (OHVs) use as much as possible. "If they must be used, remove burnable debris from hot spots. All OHVs in Alberta are required to have a functional muffler and spark arresters," according to the government's news release about the fire ban.

"Albertans stand with the people of Fort McMurray who have been evacuated and our first responders as they work to protect Albertans and critical infrastructure. The single best thing we all can do to help protect Alberta from wildfires is to ensure we are not creating additional risk," said Shannon Phillips, the province's minister of Environment and Parks. His agency will be deploying additional Conservation Officers to enforce the fire ban in parks and protected areas.

"Our firefighters are currently focused on fighting wildfires across the province, including the estimated 85,000-hectare fire near Fort McMurray. With extreme fire hazard conditions persisting, it is prudent that we take these steps to help reduce the risk of additional fires," added Oneil Carlier, minister of Agriculture and Forestry.

Portable propane fire pits and gas or propane stoves and barbecues designed for cooking or heating are still allowed. The fire ban applies to Alberta's Forest Protection Area and all counties, municipal districts, and special areas, such as provincial parks and recreation areas. The fire ban does not apply to cities, towns, villages, or summer villages or federal lands, such as national parks; it will remain in place until further notice.

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