Local firefighters from eight departments were on the scene of a deliberately set fire located about one mile north of Half Moon Lake just into Thorhild County on Tuesday afternoon. As of Wednesday morning the status of the fire is classified as held.
Due to windy conditions and high wildfire risks, fire bans are now in place across Alberta. The fire bans are effective immediately, and until further notice. The only exceptions are federal lands where there are no fire control agreements, such as some National Defence lands, First Nations reserves outside of forest protection areas, and urban municipalities: cities, towns, villages and summer villages. The Town of Westlock, as well as the Village of Clyde have enacted complete fire bans, joining lock step with Westlock County which also has a ban in place.
The provincial fire bans prohibits the use of all wood, briquette and propane/natural gas fires, including those contained in designated fire facilities and portable fire pits. Gas and propane stoves, when approved for cooking, are allowed.
People can be charged under the Forest and Prairie Protection Act and could face a fine of up to $5,000. In addition, the responsible party can be held accountable for the costs associated with fighting the fire, with no maximum limit. For current fire ban information, visit www.albertafirebans.ca.
A travel ban is also in place for Lakeland Provincial Park and Lakeland Provincial Recreation Area for travel into the backcountry on all trails due to the severe weather conditions. For more information on provincial parks, visit www.albertaparks.ca.