It may still be winter but starting Friday, people will need to have a permit to have a fire. March 1st marks the beginning of wildfire season in Grande Prairie and across the province. The season used to start on April 1st but was moved up a month in 2017 due to recent dry winters.
According to Wildfire Information Officer Kelly Burke, last year’s wildfire season was calmer than normal. There were 42 fires in the area. Seven were lightning strikes and 35 were human-caused.
Starting Friday, people in the city who want to have a campfire on their property bigger than a cooking fire need a permit. They cost $10 per year and can be purchased online or in person.
In most of parts of the county, a verbal permit is required for burning, and backyard pits need to be at least 30 metres away from any structures. A map of where and what types of permits are needed can be found on the county’s website. If a fire ban is issued all fire permits will be suspended.
The season runs from March 1st to October 31st.