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County fire ban lifted as rain blankets the region

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The fire and off-road vehicle ban in The County of Grande Prairie has been lifted due to the forecasted rain and cooler temperatures.

With Thursday’s rainfall and temperatures not expected to rise above the mid-teens until the weekend, officials believe much-needed relief arrived just in time. However, Fire Marshall Ken Atamanchuk says as quickly as the ban can be lifted, it can be re-issued.

“This is a good starting point because we really need it, but within a few days, you’re going to see the water all soak into the ground because it’s so dry. If the weather turns nice, it will dry up and nothing says in another couple weeks we could be under a fire ban again.”

Atamanchuk says residents adhered to the ban without much pushback, but he urges everyone in the region to remain diligent when it comes to wildfires, especially those who chose to smoke while driving.

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“We’ve had grass fires with cigarettes being tossed in ditches and even a few where we’ve found the cigarette. Once it gets out there, it’s still lit, and once it gets the grass going with a little breeze it’s enough to get it going.”

Fire bans for the Towns of Beaverlodge, Sexsmith Wembley and the Village of Hythe will also be removed. One is still in place though for the City.

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