Tuesday, November 16, 2021
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Alberta wildfire season underway, earliest start in Canada

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It’s March now and that means the province’s wildfire season is officially underway.

Here in Alberta the season begins a month earlier than anywhere else in the country and lasts until the end of October.

Research is suggesting wildfires are starting earlier and lasting longer.

The Alberta government says pretty much all spring wildfires are caused by human activity and are totally preventable, often started by out-of-control campfires or sparks from an off-highway vehicle.

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As is usually the case here in southern Alberta, dead and dry grass and very strong wind provide fuel for fast-moving blazes.

During wildfire season, fire permits are required for any burning except campfires in the Forest Protection Area of Alberta. Fire permits let firefighters know exactly where planned burning is being done. Permits also help prevent false calls, which ensures firefighters are available for real wildfire response. Fire permits are free and can be requested from any Agriculture and Forestry office.

Last year, there were 989 wildfires in Alberta with 71% of those being human-caused.

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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 News 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.

Pat has been working at Cornerstone Funeral Home in Lethbridge as a Certified Life Celebrant and Funeral Assistant since 2016.

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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