Agriculture and Forestry Minister Oneil Carlier (right) in Fort McMurray speaking with Alberta Wildfire officials during the Horse River Wildfire in May.

Wildfire protection laws to be strengthened

Bill 24, the Forest and Prairie Protection Amendment Act, was tabled in the Legislature on Monday.

Bill 24, the Forest and Prairie Protection Amendment Act, was tabled in the Legislature on Monday, introducing measures aimed at reducing the number of wildfires caused by humans and enhancing firefighting operations.

“Far too many wildfires are triggered by human activity and we need to take proactive steps that will help reduce the risk of this happening,” said Oneil Carlier, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry in a press release from the Alberta Government. “This important legislation will improve our ability to decrease the number of preventable fires, while also strengthening provisions that support the efforts of our wildfire fighters to keep Albertans and their communities safe.”

The proposed amendments to the Forest and Prairie Protection Act will:

Improve public safety and wildfire prevention measures by:

Strengthen penalties to help deter such high-risk activities as abandoning campfires or burning during fire bans;

Simplify the process to restrict activities, such as off-highway vehicle, use when fire conditions are hazardous;

Improve authority to stop actions that interfere with firefighting, including restricting drones; and,

Improve disposal requirements for potentially hazardous forest debris.

Designate March 1 as the official start of fire season to ensure that burning permit requirements are in place in a timely manner.

Clarify operational processes, roles and responsibilities.

“We have seen first-hand how devastating wildfires can be to those who live and work in Alberta’s forests. We support the Government of Alberta’s continued efforts to protect our forests from the risk of further wildfires.” said Paul Whittaker, President and CEO of the Alberta Forest Products Association.

“Members of the Alberta Off-Highway Vehicle Association are responsible users and we want to help the government with its efforts in reducing human-caused wildfires and protecting our forests.”

In 2016, Alberta wildfire crews fought more than 1,300 fires, including a 589,552-hectare wildfire that forced the evacuation of Fort McMurray in May and destroyed portions of the city and surrounding communities.

About 70 per cent of wildfires over the last five years have been linked to human activity.

“Members of the Alberta Off-Highway Vehicle Association are responsible users and we want to help the government with its efforts in reducing human-caused wildfires and protecting our forests,” said Brent Hodgson, President of the Alberta Off-Highway Vehicle Association.

For more information on Bill 24: Forest and Prairie Protection Amendment Act visit www.assembly.ab.ca.

 

Just Posted

A new area to be added to Sylvan Lake’s Resident Only Parking Program

The program also generated more than $200,000 in revenue for the Town

PHOTOS: Sylvan Lake students learn about cryogenics in hands on experiments

Students from Steffie Woima were treated to a presentation from TELUS World of Science

Sylvan Lake will Light Up The Lake for the holidays

Light Up the Lake celebrations will occur Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 throughout town.

Sylvan Lake residents experience high quality of life, according to recent survey

The Town of Sylvan Lake recently contacted roughly 400 residents to take part in the survey.

H.J. Cody students show how they give to Sylvan Lake

The students kicked off a social media campaign and will be donating money to three charities

Winter weather hits parts of Canada

As some parts of the country brace for cold, parts of B.C. remain warmer than 10 C

Fashion Fridays: 5 coats you need this winter!

Kim XO, lets you know the best online shopping tips during Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Saskatchewan college honours memory of Humboldt Broncos coach

Darcy Haugan wore jersey No. 22 when he was a star player with the Briercrest College Clippers

Liberals to act quickly if Saturday midnight deal deadline breached: source

Oh Friday, Canadian Union of Postal Workers said it would not bring the latest offers to a vote of its members

Police probe several allegations of sex assault at Toronto school

Police say they have learned of other incidents of alleged assault and sexual assault

VIDEO: The definition of a kilogram has officially changed

50-plus countries voted to a ground-breaking overhaul to the international system of measurements

Missing-persons list tops 600 in fire-stricken California

Disaster escalates as officials raised the death toll to 63

Semi tractor hauling lumber rolls near Ponoka

Icy roads continue to wreak havoc on the the QE2

Federal fall update expected to offer more support for struggling news industry

Ottawa committed $50 million over five years for local journalism in ‘underserved communities’ last budget

Most Read