Alberta government releases new fire ban app ahead of long weekend

Alberta government releases new fire ban app ahead of long weekend

If you're thinking of heading out into the great outdoors for the May long weekend but don't know the fire risk, there is now an app for that.

The provincial government released a new fire ban mobile app on Tuesday. The Alberta Fire Bans app allows people to see where current fire bans are in the province and what restrictions and advisories are in place so they can plan camping trips and outdoor activities accordingly.

"I'm really excited about this app. Instead of people wondering what number they should phone, should they phone the county, town or the province, now everything is one app," said Oneil Carlier, minister of agriculture and forestry.  

"We're looking at some very dry conditions right now coming up to the long weekend so this is another tool that people can carry around on their smartphone to make sure they're not that person that starts that wildfire."

The app will help people learn about the current fire risk, amd provide them with the latest information on where a camp fire or burn is or isn't allowed. 

"There is unfortunately a large number of human–caused wildfires," added Carlier. 

The dry weather so far in May has resulted in some fire bans in the province..​

Since March 1, there have been 274 wildfires, according to the Alberta government. 

Of those fires, 99 per cent were human-caused and entirely preventable, said experts. 

As of May 15, there were 88 fire bans and fire advisories in effect across the Alberta.