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

Fish for free

No license is required to ice fish on Family Day weekend

Students to teach principles of self-awareness

Fox Run students will be sharing “U Rock”, a program designed to instill kindness and compassion

Reward offered to find man charged in 2006 murder

RCMP are offering up to $5000 for information leading to the arrest of Kevin Brown

Background checks required for retail cannabis locations

Strict rules and regulations for retail locations was announced at a press conference this morning

Adults and youths charged in multiple armed robberies

Maskwacis and Wetaskiwin RCMP solved multiple armed robberies investigations

WATCH: Red Deer celebrates one year out from 2019 Canada Games

Community gathers at Great Chief Park to commemorate Games milestone

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

#Metoo movement causing confusion in many men, fear of missteps with women: experts

Being painted by the same sweeping brush as those alleged to have mistreated women has angered men

Liberals to dig deeper, aim higher on gender equality in 2018 federal budget

Finance Minister Bill Morneau said the budget would include measures to boost women in the workforce

Trudeau family arrives in India for state visit

Seven-day visit includes meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Military seeks DNA experts to help ID missing war dead

Federal program recovers, identifies and arranges burials for Canada’s nearly 28,000 missing war dead

PHOTOS: CP Rail train derailment near Ellerslie Road

A train derailed on the south end of Edmonton closes streets

Most Canadians believe journalism plays critical role in democracy: poll

Survey suggests 94 per cent of Canadians feel journalism plays ‘important’ part

13 Russians charged in Mueller investigation

Special counsel alleges illegal meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election

Most Read