August 5, 2017 3:08 pm

Southern Alberta still under fire bans despite better wildfire season

A hazy sunset in Canmore, Alta. due to the Verdant Creek wildfire, seen on July 30, 2017.

Carl Modolo

The wildfire situation in Alberta is not nearly as bad as in British Columbia, but there are a few fires burning across the province.

Multiple fire bans have been issued for areas south of Red Deer, and for Jasper and Banff National Parks.

However, Jim Kerr, a provincial wildfire officer, told the Alberta Morning News that this year is much better than last year for wildfires in the province.

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“There are about 17 fires burning across Alberta, none of them are out of control though,” Kerr said. “At this point in the year, we’ve had about just shy of 900 wildfires. This time last year, we were at about 1,230. So it’s been a much quieter season than definitely the five previous years.”

Alberta has sent some fire crews to deal with the wildfires in B.C., but there are still around 650 firefighters to deal with the province’s situation.

Kerr said that most of the wildfires are centralized in the southern part of the province.

“It’s mostly the south of the province that’s seeing a lot of the ban and restriction activity,” Kerr said.

“There are some bans up in Canmore, Banff National Park and Jasper National Park. But into the north of the province, the situation is a lot different.”

Kerr also said the most important fire safety tip, when it’s as dry as it is in Southern Alberta, is to always make sure to soak your fire until it is completely extinguished and never leave it unattended.

Before lighting a campfire, make sure to check out the latest on fire bans and advisories in the province.

There are also ATV and off-highway vehicle bans for parts of the province. ​

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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