Close this search box.
Close this search box.
a photo of a helicopter with a bucket collecting water from a pond to douse a raging wildfire seen in the background
Alberta Government

Alberta Is A Tinderbox For Wildfires

Alberta has a dangerous mix of dry vegetation and hot, dry weather.

On Saturday, officials put Parkland County and Yellowhead County communities under an evacuation order after a large grass fire was spotted west of Edmonton near Entwistle.

The following morning, RCMP reported that Evansburg and Entwistle had evacuated without injuries. Currently, this wildfire is estimated at around 500 hectares in size.

This is not a small fire. A hectare is roughly the same size as most sports fields. Now imagine a raging fire spreading across 500 sports fields.

In addition to the wildfire in Parkland County, a much larger wildfire continues to burn about seven kilometres northwest of Evansburg. This wildfire is estimated at 3,386 hectares in size.

a map of alberta zoomed in on yellowhead county and parkland county with areas impacted by wildfires highlighted in red
The locations of two wildfires impacting communities in Yellowhead County and Parkland County | Parkland County Facebook

Fires are popping up across the province with the May wildfire season upon us. This isn’t surprising, considering Alberta is chock-full of fuel for these hungry infernos.

Alberta has a dangerous mix of dry vegetation and hot, dry weather. You add in lightning and human sources like open fire pits, and you have a big fire before you can say ignition.

Wildfires aren’t new to Alberta, but most experts believe climate change worsens the situation.

“We’re almost moving to fire years instead of fire seasons…That’s the result because we’re getting warmer,” Mike Flannigan, Research Chair in Predictive Services, Emergency Management and Fire Science at Thompson Rivers University, told CBC News.

“The warmer it is, the more efficient the atmosphere is at sucking the moisture out of the vegetation…(that) leads to higher intensity fires that are difficult to impossible to extinguish,” continued Flannigan.

Climate change or not, knowing how to prevent wildfires is essential. The government recommends removing items that can burn from within 1.5 meters of your home. This includes dried branches, lawn furniture, firewood, leaves, and debris.

Ongoing wildfires have resulted in fire bans across most of Central Alberta, including Edmonton. Before these bans are lifted, outdoor fires are prohibited, and no new permits will be issued.

We thank Alberta’s emergency alert system for keeping many Albertans safe. Parkland County Fire Chief Brian Cornforth said the county’s firefighters are grateful for the system.

Emergency alerts play an important role in warning the public of impending threats and preparing them for evacuations should the need arise.

In addition to emergency alerts, there are various tools on the Alberta website to track current wildfires and receive status updates.

Share this story

Stories in your Inbox, daily or weekly

Choose the types of stories you receive.

Related Stories