Fire bans covering a large swath of southern Alberta could put a damper on what looks like a great summer weekend for a camping trip.
Open flames such as campfires are forbidden in campsites and backcountry areas from Kneehill County in central Alberta all the way through the southern portion of the province and to the west stretching up to Jasper National Park.
"Most of the wildfires we've seen this season have been started by abandoned campfires and we have seen wildfires started by (off-high vehicles)," said provincial wildfire information officer Barry Shellian.
"With such tinder-dry conditions in southern Alberta, our main goal is to prevent any human-caused wildfires from starting in the area."
A fire ban in Banff, Yoho, Kootenay and Jasper national parks that was issued on July 18 remains in effect. The fire ban in Banff park includes the hamlet of Lake Louise.
The Town of Banff also issued its own fire ban on July 18. It covers all outdoor fires, including campfires.
The Parks Canada bans and most of those issued by Alberta Agriculture and Forestry include these exceptions:
- Portable propane fire pits.
- Gas or propane stoves and barbeques designed for cooking or heating.
- Propane or gas fuelled lanterns (enclosed flame).
- Patio heaters (propane, catalytic or infrared/radiant).
On provincial lands with fire bans in effect, all fire permits are suspended or cancelled and no new fire permits will be issued.
Check the Alberta Fire Bans website for specific restrictions for each county and municipal district.
In Calgary, a fire advisory notice was issued on Aug. 4 and remains in effect.
"To help reduce fire risk caused by continuing dry, warm weather with the possibility of strong winds, the Calgary Fire Department is urging citizens to use caution when using outdoor open flames, including barbeques and backyard fire pits and when disposing of smoking materials," officials said in a release.