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Regional Fire Chief stresses responsible trail use

The scene of an abandoned campfire with smoke bombs left hanging in a nearby tree off Tower Road. RES responded to this fire scene on Oct. 19. Photo supplied by the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo.

Five human-caused fires in the region over the last 48 hours have prompted a response from Regional Emergency Services Chief Jody Butz.

In a statement, Butz urged community members to use trails and outdoor spaces responsibly.

“The conditions we are experiencing are extremely dry, and the foliage has already fallen, creating above-average wildfire risk.”

He added that human-caused fires strain resources and create unnecessary risk to the community.

“Careless and reckless choices with campfires, smokers’ materials and debris in OHVs are leading causes of human-caused fires in the forest area. OHV use is always restricted in Fort McMurray, and keeping your OHV clear of debris regularly can cut down on these risks.”

This comes following the fire near Morgan Heights Park along McKinlay Crescent in Timberlea, which started on Oct. 18, 2022.

READ MORE: RMWB says fire near Timberlea was human-caused

As of Oct. 20, investigators found five fires were the direct result of human activity in the Fort McMurray Forest Area:

  • A human-caused fire resulting from an unattended campfire began on Tower Road. Smoke bombs were hanging in the tree at the fire scene.
  • A human-caused fire began northwest of the Parsons Creek Overpass on the utility road.
  • Two human-caused fires were started in Janvier.
  • The fire in the tree line behind Morgan Heights is human-caused, and the area of origin has been determined.


The Municipality uploaded a dedicated webpage to updates on the fire in the tree line behind Morgan Heights.

While RES addresses the fire, the RMWB reaffirmed there is no risk to the public or residential areas.

The investigations into the fires are ongoing.