The fires burning in B.C. have taken over this year's headlines as firefighters try to cope with the devastation, but, according to a Wildfire Information Officer, in Alberta, things have been quieter than in previous years.
Jim Kerr with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry says so far this year we've had 1,108 wildfires that have burned about 20,560 hectares. That's about 200 fewer fires than at this time last year and is down from the long term average of 1,350, making this a below average year in the province.
"Of course Fort McMurray was a big part of the hectares burned last year. At the moment we have a few out of control fires, one near Edson and two in the Rocky Mountain House area but it's generally been a less busy season for us, although we've had our hands full helping with resource requests in other areas like B.C.
Kerr says as we enter September, generally the fire season starts to wind down, but the hot dry conditions in southern Alberta make that not the case this year.
"It's very hot and dry in the south, the southwest portion of the province hasn't received the rain that other areas of the province have. It is an extreme hazard in the southwest portion of Alberta and because of that we have a fire ban and OHV (Off Highway Vehicle) for areas south of the Red Deer River and that's just because of that extreme hazard at the moment."
The City of Airdrie is also under a fire ban which has been in effect since August 30th.
Kerr says everyone needs to remain vigilant when outdoors. "It's still quite hot and dry across the province. Generally things start to slow down in September and October but the fire season ends once they're all over."
Kerr advises people to check out albertafirebans.ca to get more information about current fire bans
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