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Published online at CTVEdmonton.ca on May 11, 2012.


Linda Hoang, CTV Edmonton: Friday, May 11, 2012

Fire bans issued for Edmonton, Strathcona County

Dry and windy weather conditions has prompted officials in Edmonton and Strathcona County to issue a fire ban Friday.

The ban will remain in effect over the weekend.

In Edmonton, open burning and use of fireworks are not permitted until further notice. Fire pits and wood stoves are allowed.

In Strathcona County, outdoor fires have been banned, including burning barrels, fire pits, fireworks and charcoal barbeques. Propane barbeques are allowed.

“It’s very dry right now and very windy,” said Strathcona County Fire Chief Darrell Reid.

Although no province-wide ban has been issued, these conditions have prompted the province to issue a warning about an extreme fire risk as well, especially in northern Alberta, where fire danger levels have risen to high and in some places, extreme levels.

The bans come just days before the one-year anniversary of Alberta’s most disastrous wildfire that destroyed Slave Lake.

Fire officials hope last year’s disaster is a reminder of just how vicious a fire can be.

“There’s more awareness now after our experiences in the last few years and perhaps generally in the community after seeing what happened in Slave Lake,” Reid said.

Officials in Edmonton and Strathcona County are reminding residents they could be fined for breaking a fire ban.

Those fines may include covering costs for emergency services.

Since the beginning of April, provincial firefighters have responded to more than 240 wildfires, all of which appear to be caused by man, and thereby preventable.

With files from Bill Fortier

Click here to read the article on the CTV Edmonton website.