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.
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.