Fire weather advisory for central and southern Alberta
Advisory follows Level 3 ban introduced in Calgary late Saturday night
Dry conditions and high winds will push the fire hazard to extreme levels in southern and central Alberta, officials warned Sunday.
Albertans are being asked to take extreme caution and officials say if a wildfire starts, conditions could cause an uncontrollable spread.
Fire weather advisories have been issued across the province.
All burning permits within the Forest Protection Area of Alberta have been cancelled and no new permits are being issued.
The advisory comes just hours after officials in Calgary introduced a Level 3 fire ban late Saturday night.
The city's fire department says low humidity, coupled with dry, warm winds has created an extreme level of fire risk. The Level 3 ban was put in place as of 10 p.m. MT.
"This year we kind of went from winter immediately to summer and we never had that wet spring that we're used to so everything is dry," says Ernie Molineaux, battalion chief with the Calgary Fire Department.
"When you get to 30/30, we call it — that's the 30 degree temperature and below 30 per cent humidity — those are ideal fire conditions for almost a fire storm condition so we want to be very, very careful."
No open fires allowed
Under the ban, no open fires of any kind are permitted within the city's limits — that includes backyard fire pits and charcoal grills.
"Calgarians are allowed to have fires with their barbeques — gas-powered barbeques and gas-powered appliances — but no open fires," explains district fire chief Allan Ball.
People caught burning anything outdoors on Saturday night who didn't know about the ban will not be charged, but they will be asked to put the fire out. Crews will be vigilant, responding to any reports of open flames in the city.
"This burning ban will be in effect until the weather changes and we get moisture," said Ball.
Officials are asking Calgarians to be extremely cautious when disposing of any smoking materials, especially when in the city's green spaces.