EDMONTON -- Alberta’s 2020 wildfire season officially starts on Sunday.

The province had more than 1,000 wildfires in the 2019 season and officials are reminding people to use safe burning practices.

Fires lit in the winter can continue to smoulder under the snow and flare up in the spring.

“Spread around any remaining debris so you can probe the area for hotspots. Use your bare hand to feel for heat over the ash piles. If you see smoke or feel heat, the fire is still burning,” Alberta Wildfire explained on their website. “Douse any remaining hotspots with water and stir up the ashes. A fire is not out until there is absolutely no heat emanating from the ashes.”

All winter burns in the Slave Lake Forest Area must be reported by calling 780-849-7457. 

Beginning March 1, fire permits are required for any burning within Alberta’s Fire Protection Area, with the exception of cooking and warming fires.

Alberta Forest Protection Area map


The McMillan wildfire, which destroyed 2,730 square kilometres of forest in north-central Alberta in 2019, was determined to be a result of arson. The blaze is still under investigation.