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RMWB offers clarity on provincial fire ban

Last Updated Apr 15, 2020 at 11:54 am MDT

PHOTO. Under the provincial fire ban, the only area you can have a backyard fire in the RMWB is in the Fort McMurray Urban Service Area, mapped out above, and in the Wood Buffalo National Park.

The Alberta government announced several initiatives to reduce the risk of wildfires and protect municipalities during the COVID-19 crisis.

They also include a ban on recreational Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) use in all provincial parks and protected areas.

The province said these actions would come into effect on April 15, 2020.

READ MORE: Alberta Wildfire announces province-wide fire bans, increased fines

The Municipality also issued a statement regarding the province’s fire ban.

Regional Fire Chief Jody Butz said the ban is specifically for the forested protection area.

“The forested protection area entails the entire municipal region with the exception of the Wood Buffalo National Park and the Fort McMurray Urban Service Area…the government of Alberta fire ban restricts the use of open air burning for all of our rural communities.” 

The Municipality said they still approve burning in residential backyard fire pits and portable fire pits, according to the manufacturer’s specifications.

The areas of Tower Road and Draper Road is not included in the Fort McMurray Urban Service Area and does fall under the provincial fire ban.

The RMWB also does not permit the use of Off-Highway vehicles (OHV) within the urban service area.

The provincial ban on OHV use speaks about Crown land in the Forest Protection Area, which covers nearly 60 per cent of the province.

With the exception of federal parks, that amounts to most of the northern half of Alberta and along the western border.

For more information on fire advisories, restrictions, and bans, visit the Alberta Fire Bans website.