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County lifts fire advisory, Fire Chief warns of increased wildfire risk

After a weekend brush fire in the County of Grande Prairie near Wembley, the County of Grande Prairie issued a Fire Advisory and limited the amount of permits issued to residents.

Crews managed to extinguish the blaze in a matter of hours and left the scene shortly after.

As a result of heavy weekend snowfall and more precipitation forecasted throughout the week, County Regional Fire Service Fire Chief, Trevor Grant lifted the advisory for the entire county including the towns of Beaverlodge, Sexsmith, and Wembley.

“The snow does definitely help with the dry conditions that we had before, and we’re going to monitor it once the snow starts to melt again, to see when and if we have to put that advisory back in place,” he says.

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Grant adds that incidents like this seemingly happen earlier in the year, and serve as a wake-up call for residents to stay aware of the risks of another significant wildfire season.

“It’s February and we’re starting to get grassfires so people need to be aware, and very proactive, and very safe when they’re doing any type of burning,” he says. “People need to understand and realize that the winter conditions we had this year, probably some of the lowest snowpack and snowfall we’ve had in a significant amount of time.”

Despite the ban’s lift, residents are still required to follow the conditions of their fire permits, exercise extreme caution, and immediately extinguish burn piles when winds reach 12 kilometres per hour.

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