March 1 marks the start of wildfire season in Alberta and preparations are well underway.
It might be hard to believe if you look outside, but Alberta’s Agriculture and Forestry Minister Oneil Carlier says conditions can change in a hurry.
“Keep in mind, when it does start to dry up and snow starts to melt, that things might get dry very quickly,” he said.
More than 100 firefighters are working across the province ensuring proper resources are in place to fight a fire, with more being added every week, according to the Alberta government.
Officials in Edmonton also took part in an exercise this week, simulating a scenario of a massive fire in the Grande Prairie region, threatening rural and urban municipalities.
As of March 1, fire permits are required for any burning, except for campfires, in the Forest Protection Area of Alberta.
According to the province, last wildfire season, 1,231 fires burned more than 49,000 hectares of land. Of those fires, 789 were human-caused.
“That says to me, I think it probably says to most Albertans, that we need to do better,” Carlier said.
In general, the province says areas that already burned typically don’t burn again, at least not right away. There has to be some growth before a potential burn could reoccur.