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All Alberta wildfires to date in 2024 believed to be human-caused: province

Smoke billows from Wildfire MWF012, located approximately 4.5 kilometres east of Saprae Creek Estates in the Fort McMurray forest area, in April 2024. (Source: Alberta Wildfire) Smoke billows from Wildfire MWF012, located approximately 4.5 kilometres east of Saprae Creek Estates in the Fort McMurray forest area, in April 2024. (Source: Alberta Wildfire)
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Take action to protect your property if you live in a forested area and obey local fire bans or restrictions.

That was the message of Wednesday's weekly Alberta wildfire update.

There are 63 wildfires burning in Alberta's forest protection area as of Wednesday morning and seven mutual aid fires, including one in the Municipal District of Peace.

More than 172 wildfires have already been extinguished across the province in 2024.

Officials say the fire risk is high because of dry and windy conditions.

"I urge you to assess your property for wildfire danger and take any preventive action you can to address these risks," Todd Loewen, minister for forestry and parks, said at the Wednesday update.

"This includes breaking up fuel sources that could ignite a structure, removing trees in close proximity to your home, and properly maintaining your gutters and roofs to rid the materials that could easily ignite such as leaves and dry needles."

Loewen also reminded Albertans to be aware of fire bans or restrictions issued in their community.

"These preventative measures play a crucial role in reducing human caused wildfires when risk levels are high," he said.

"We expect that almost all of the wildfires we've experienced so far this year are human caused, given the point we're at in the season and the types of weather we're seeing."

Alberta Wildfire information officer Josee St-Onge says cool, wet weather is forecasted for many parts of the province, but it may not be enough to mitigate the fire risk.

"We need significant and continued rain to overcome the drought conditions that we are experiencing across many parts of the province," she said.

"Snow has melted and exposed dead and dry vegetation which is extremely flammable for wildfire. Until vegetation green-up happens, wildfires will easily ignite and can spread very quickly."

The province is expected to provide another wildfire update next Thursday.

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