Forest Protection Area
Forest Protection Areas (FPA) refer to the creation of provincial parks and other areas to legally protect them from industrial activity and to help preserve healthy ecosystems.
Alberta Agriculture and Forestry is the wildfire authority (under the Forest and Prairie Protection Act) in the FPA of Alberta and control all aspects of wildfire management, including fire bans. Alberta Agriculture and Forestry manages and responds to all wildfires in this area and is responsible for issuing permits and putting on fire bans.
Even if they are within the FPA, any city, town, village or summer village has the authority to put on their own fire bans as they are outside Alberta Agriculture and Forestry’s jurisdiction.
Where is the FPA?
Click here for the Government of Alberta's map outlining the Forest Protection Area in the province.
Click here for a map of the Forest Protection Area in Clearwater County.
What is the difference between a fire advisory, fire restriction and a fire ban?
Alberta Agriculture and Forestry has a five level colour-coded system for putting on fire bans in the FPA of Alberta. The system increases efficiency in applying fire use restrictions during increasing fire hazard. It also provides more advanced warning about possible impacts on burning and campfires.
Fire permits are required during fire season for any type of burning in the FPA, except campfires. Safe campfires are allowed in campgrounds and backcountry or random camping areas.
The fire hazard rating has increased. Fire permits may be restricted. Safe campfires are allowed in campgrounds and backcountry or random camping areas, but this level is a warning they may be restricted if the situation doesn’t improve.
Generally, this level is meant to inform that there is a high fire danger and that there may be certain types of restrictions on burning. It may be used as a "warning” that a more restrictive fire ban may be coming if the situation does not improve. You may also see a fire advisory for short-term concerns like major wind events.
Safe campfires are allowed in fire rings in campgrounds only. No campfires (or other open fires) or charcoal briquettes are allowed in backcountry or random camping areas. Gas or propane stoves/barbeques and portable propane fire pits are allowed. Fire permits may be suspended or cancelled and no new fire permits will be issued. If the situation continues to worsen, Alberta Agriculture and Forestry will put on a fire ban.
This level acts as a higher level or warning before a fire ban. Certain types of burning will be restricted, while certain types will be allowed. It is important to read the details of the fire restriction as they can vary from municipality to municipality depending on the situation.
No campfires (or other open fires) are allowed in campgrounds or backcountry and random camping areas. This includes charcoal briquettes. Gas or propane stoves/barbeques and portable propane fire pits are allowed. All fire permits are suspended or cancelled and no new fire permits will be issued.
This level is usually put in place when a municipality has taken steps to restrict or prohibit certain types of fire use within that area. It is important to read the details of the fire ban as they can vary from municipality to municipality depending on the situation.
The fire danger has reached such extreme levels that portions of the forest are closed and no access is permitted for public safety concerns.
* Every municipality in Alberta may have slightly different legislation or bylaws for fire bans. It is important to read the details of each posting carefully and to contact your local municipality if you have any questions or concerns.