Wildfire Season has begun early in 2024 - February 20.

Alberta’s wildfire season is starting early this year. The early start is due to the drought conditions occurring in many areas of the province, which could lead to elevated fire danger if we do not receive significant rain in the spring.

Please do your part to help prevent human caused wildfires by using caution in forested areas. Now’s the time to go back and check on any winter burn projects to make sure they are fully extinguished. 

During wildfire season, fire permits are required in Big Lakes County for any burning, except campfires. Wildfire protection in Alberta is shared between Alberta Wildfire (inside the Forest Protection Area) and the municipalities outside the Forest Protection Area. To view Big Lakes County’s Permit Area, download the map.

If the location, you wish to burn falls within the County’s jurisdiction contact the County Fire Guardian at 780-507-9848. If the burn location falls outside the County’s area of responsibility (the Forest Protection Area) contact Alberta Wildfire at 780-523-6619.

Fire Permits ensure safe burning practices and allow staff to know where burning is approved so firefighters and aircraft are free to fight wildfires.

To report a wildfire call toll free 310-FIRE (3473).

Alberta Wildfire Status: https://wildfire.alberta.ca/wildfire-status/default.aspx

Or download the app: AB Wildfire Status

Alberta Fire Bans – https://www.albertafirebans.ca/

Request a Fire Permit

Enilda Fire Hall

903 Railway Ave

Faust Fire Hall

5 Spruce Street

Grouard Fire Hall

14th Ave NE

Joussard Fire Hall - Headquarters

24th Street W

Kinuso Fire Hall

52nd Street

FireSmart Your Property

Ask yourself the following:

  • Where are your woodpiles or other combustible materials stored?
  • Is the area within 10 meters of buildings free of flammable trees, other vegetation and combustible materials?
  • Are there low tree branches within 2 meters of the ground?
  • Is the underside of your balcony, deck, porch or open foundation completely sheathed in or open and free of combustible materials?

The type and amount of vegetation surrounding a structure play an important role in determining the interface hazard. You can find more information and videos regarding firesmart’ing your property at https://www.alberta.ca/firesmart.aspx

Flashing Green Lights

Our Big Lakes County volunteer firefighters can place flashing green lights in their vehicles when they respond to an emergency call. The lights are meant to signal to other motorists that they are travelling to an emergency. The law in Alberta does not require motorists to pull over for flashing green lights; it is voluntary. While only firefighters can use flashing green lights, they do not have any additional privileges under the Highway Safety Act.

However, the courtesy of pulling over when you see a firefighter’s green lights can significantly impact emergency services response time in the community.


Canadian Fallen Firefighter Foundation

Planning for Northern Trek 2023 is well underway with sponsorships already coming in! Like past years, I decided to challenge myself to raise funds for the Canadian Fallen Firefighters Foundation, and raise awareness of the importance of mental health and physical fitness in our industry.

Since starting this journey in 2018, Northern Trek has raised over $84,800 for the Foundation to help them with their mission to HONOUR and REMEMBER our Fallen Brothers and Sisters, and to offer SUPPORT and programs to those left behind. This amazing milestone would not be possible without your support through sponsorships, donations, logistical supports, and the endless encouragements.

Northern Trek 2023 will be in August 2023 with specific dates yet to be determined. I will be running from Spirit River AB to Peace River AB via Falher AB.

Once again, portions of the run are available for sponsorship. Legs are available for $500, or more if you wish to donate more funds to the Foundation. 100% of proceeds raised go directly to the Foundation. Tax receipts are issued by the Foundation to the name on the checks they receive. All sponsors will be divided in 10 groups; one group will be announced at the beginning of each half day via Facebook Live video. If your organization wish to honour a Fallen Firefighter in particular, I will announce that as well and will run in their honour. Your department/association/business/organization logo will be added to the Northern Trek 2023 logo, and the name printed in the annual Courage magazine. Message me today to sponsor Northern Trek 2023, and then feel free to challenge another organization to follow suit.

The Canadian Fallen Firefighters Foundation provides support services for the families of fallen firefighters and honour our fallen at the Canadian Fallen Firefighters Memorial in Ottawa at the Memorial Weekend in September.

Thank you for your continued support!

Julien Bergeron
Deputy Fire Chief – Northern Sunrise County
[email protected]