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Bonnyville’s Fire Chief says the town is currently not affected by Alberta Fire Ban

The Province of Alberta has declared a provincial state of emergency due to the multiple wildfires burning but Bonnyville Regional Fire Authority (BRFA) Fire Chief Dan Heney says the Provincial State of Emergency “currently does not affect the Town of Bonnyville.” 

In a press release from the Town of Bonnyville Heney explained the Town of Bonnyville is not under a Fire Ban. 

“The Fire Ban and OHV Restriction in the MD matches the Provincial Ban and OHV Restriction in the Forest Protection Area (FPA). Further, the Town requirements for a permitted fire pit are stricter than in the MD and the risk of a fast-moving fire moving unimpeded is significantly lower. Should the province enact a full provincial ban, that will affect the Town. Residents are encouraged to monitor the Town’s social media and app for further information and updates as they become available.” 

The MD of Bonnyville, Summer Village of Bonnyville Beach, Summer Village of Pelican Narrows, and Village of Glendon have been under a Fire Ban and Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) Restriction since Friday, May 5. These bans look to assist the Bonnyville Regional Fire Authority in preventing wildfires and preserving their resources during this hot and dry season. 

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Heney talked with Country 99 and said the town has a lesser risk of fire spreading quickly because of multiple factors including greener grass and fewer trees with roads acting as natural dividers. 

“Out in the M.D., there are still trees and a vast amount of cropland and farmland and a lot that can burn unimpeded until the fire department shows up. Why the town is exempt is the risk is just lower. There are not that many trees in the town and there are lots of roads. It would be easy to get a handle on.”  

The state of emergency under the Emergency Management Act gives the provincial government a higher level of intergovernmental coordination alongside access to emergency discretionary funds, a constant watch of the situation, and the ability to mobilize additional support to help evacuated residents and assist municipalities. 

Heney says since April 28 the BRFA has responded to 75 fire calls which are about average compared to previous years but asks everyone to still take all precautions to stay safe when it comes to fire. 

“The risks are still there but the residents should feel safe. When you look at the risks they are very limited compared to other communities.” 

Residents are encouraged to know the Town’s Fire Bylaw and follow the rules with respect to open fires and fireworks. The Town of Bonnyville also suggests everyone have water or a fire extinguisher nearby when working with items that generate heat or sparks. Anyone who sees a fire is asked to call 911 immediately. 

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