Wildfire risks elevated amid Western Canada's heat wave, officials say

·1 min read
A smoky sky and a water bomber are seen overhead as an out-of-control wildfire burns near Banff National Park in this file photo from September 2020. With fire advisories, restrictions or bans in place across Alberta, officials are asking people to closely follow the rules during the current heat wave. (Helen Pike/CBC - image credit)
A smoky sky and a water bomber are seen overhead as an out-of-control wildfire burns near Banff National Park in this file photo from September 2020. With fire advisories, restrictions or bans in place across Alberta, officials are asking people to closely follow the rules during the current heat wave. (Helen Pike/CBC - image credit)

Western Canada's extreme heat wave is translating into elevated wildfire risks in parks and public areas west of Calgary — and officials are asking the public to closely follow the rules in the days ahead.

There are 17 wildfires in Alberta's forest protection areas. Six of the fires are being held and 11 are deemed under control.

Banff National Park is under an extreme fire danger rating.

Jane Park, a fire and vegetation specialist with Parks Canada, said they have taken extra measures, including positioning firefighting crews and helicopters while having other staff and resources on standby.

Campfires are allowed only in designated areas, Park said, and shouldn't be left unattended at any time.

"We are hoping that people are careful with the fires that they are allowed to have in the park," she said.

"We're definitely monitoring the conditions as we go."

The high temperatures in Western Canada are due to what's being called a "heat dome." Alberta broke 38 daily records on Tuesday, according to Environment Canada.

CBC News
CBC News

The Calgary Forest Area, west of the city, also has an extreme fire danger rating. Wildfire information officer Derrick Forsythe said a close eye is being kept on the situation.

"Just be mindful that it's very, very hot, very, very dry," he said. "Take care out there this long weekend."

Five wildfires have started within the past 24 hours, according to provincial officials.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting