Alberta issues province-wide fire ban
The Alberta government imposed a province-wide fire ban Tuesday in response to the high wildfire risks and windy conditions.
The ban, issued late Tuesday afternoon, takes effect immediately.
"The risk of fire in this province remains extreme really across especially northern Alberta. and as we head into the long weekend, its crucial that we minimize the risk of additional fires starting," Premier Ed Stelmach said.
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Alberta residents are now prohibited from using wood, briquette and propane/natural gas fires including those in designated fire facilities and portable fire pits. Gas and propane stoves approved for cooking are still allowed.
The only exceptions to the ban are federal lands where there are no fire control agreements and First Nation reserves outside of forest protection areas.
Legal backyard fire pits are still allowed. City officials are urging all residents to take care using backyard fire pits, barbecues and cigarettes.
A ban was also issued late Tuesday on open flames inside Calgary's city limits. Barbeques are exempt, officials said. Breaching the ban carries a fine of $5,000.
There are currently 100 wildfires in the province with 23 of them burning out of control.