Slave Lake and area firefighters on alert

Callie Hermanson
Lakeside Leader

Wildfire danger for the Slave Lake Forest Area has climbed to high. This indicates dead, dry grass will ignite easily.

Leah Lovequist, the Wildfire Information Officer for the Slave Lake Forest area, says to be cautious and report wildfires immediately by calling 310-FIRE (3473).

Lovequist says in response to the high wildfire danger, the fire towers are constantly watching for smoke.

“Firefighters with helicopter and an airtanker are on alert ready to fight any new wildfire that may start.”

Lovequist mentions over the next several weeks firefighters will be continuing to burn areas of dry grass in and around many communities in the Slave Lake forest area.

There were two new wildfires on Friday, May 4. Both fires were small and quickly extinguished by firefighters.

Since March 1, 2018, the Slave Lake Forest Area has recorded 19 wildfires that have burned a total of 4.33 hectares.

Fire permits are required for any burning in the Forest Protection Area says Lovequist, excluding campfires.

“Fire permits help us to track what is burning on the landscape.”

If a person is burning without a fire permit or outside fire permit conditions, that fire is considered a wildfire. By getting a fire permit, you help keep our firefighters free to fight real wildfires instead of responding to the smoke in your backyard.

To request a free fire permit contact your local Alberta Agriculture and Forestry Office. Contact information is as follows: Slave Lake, Red Earth/Trout/Peerless/Loon 780-849-7377 Wabasca 780-891-3860
High Prairie 780-523-6619.

Firefighter Adam Shirley from the Slave Lake Fire Department doing hazard reduction burning near Southshore Hidden Treasures on April 28.

Firefighters dangle at the end of a long line below a helicopter in a training exercise for a new technique called ‘HEC’, or ‘Human External Cargo.’ It’s a new way of getting firefighters to and from spots that are tough to get in and out of by more traditional means. Slave Lake Helicopters participated in the training with members of helitack crews based in Slave Lake.
Photo courtesy Leah Lovequist – Alberta Ag & Forestry

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