Friday, July 23, 2021
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Extremely dry conditions across southern Alberta recipe for wildfires

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LETHBRIDGE, AB – It’s not uncommon for it to be dry in this part of the province as we head into spring time, but right now conditions are very ripe for potential grass fires.

Fire advisories and restrictions have already been issued for some areas across southern Alberta with a high fire risk.

The river valley area within the City of Lethbridge remains under a fire ban. That was put in place months ago to discourage social gatherings related to the COVID-19 pandemic, however it remains in place given the current weather conditions.

That ban does not include those fires in contained backyard pits at your home. Lethbridge Chief Fire Marshall Heath Wright though says it so dry right now it wouldn’t take much to start a grass fire. “If you are going to have a fire, I would recommend a propane gas fire pit to control the amount of embers flying around. I’d also like to remind those individuals who are smoking, especially those in vehicles. Throwing out cigarettes that are still burning are highly dangerous.”

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Warmer-than-normal temperatures are expected to continue for the rest of this month, with little to no precipitation in the long range forecast..

Wright stresses things are at the point now where we have extreme conditions for grass fires. He’s asking people here to just be aware of how dry it actually is.

Besides the river valley area under the fire ban, as of Tuesday there are fire advisories in place within the MD of Pincher Creek, Waterton Lakes National Park, County of Newell, and now County of Forty Mile. There is also a fire restriction for people living in Cypress County in the southeast near Medicine Hat.

You can see a full list of fire bans, restrictions, and advisories here: Alberta Fire Bans

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Patrick Siedlecki

Pat has been a mainstay in the CJOC News department from the time the station launched in 2007. He’s been in the position of New Director since then and has been anchoring daily news casts as well as reporting and working behind the scenes.

Community is important to him and keeping CJOC listeners and readers informed about what’s happening across southern Alberta and beyond.

Pat has been in radio broadcasting for the past 24 years, starting in Port Alberni on Vancouver Island in 1997 and then moving up island to Nanaimo for another few years before heading to Lethbridge in 2007.

Pat grew up in the small Saskatchewan farming town of Foam Lake. After high school, he went to Western Academy Broadcasting College (WABC) in Saskatoon prior to moving to the island.

Pat also spent several years broadcasting hockey in the BCHL as well as seven years as the radio voice of the Lethbridge Hurricanes in the WHL.

On a personal note, Pat has been working at Cornerstone Funeral Home in Lethbridge as a Certified Life Celebrant and funeral assistant since 2016.

Pat is engaged to Tarah and he has two kids and two step-children.

News and sports have always been Pat’s passion from the time he was a teenager and he’s always been grateful to have had the opportunity to make that part of what’s been a fun and long radio career!

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