Fewer wildfires in Alberta this year

While areas across northern Alberta remain under a fire ban this weekend, officials say the number and size of fires in the province are below average.

 Dry conditions and high winds have prompted fire bans across much of northern Alberta, but officials say there are fewer wildfires in the province than usual.

"Every fire season is different, depending on wind and humidity and dryness," said Whitney Exton, a wildlife information officer with the province.

She said there are 37 wildfires currently burning in Alberta. None one of them are considered out of control.

Exton said that both the number of fires and the amount of land they’ve burned is down from this time last year.

"And they’re actually under our five year average as well. Which is really good news, but it doesn’t mean we need to be any less careful."

Friday, smoke from a wildfire near Fox Creek caused officials to restrict traffic on Highway 43.

Fire bans remain in effect this weekend for the City of Edmonton and Strathcona County as well as areas around Lac La Biche and Grand Prairie.