We may be in for another warm, and dry, spring, which is perfect conditions for forest fires.
Given the devastation caused by a fire in Fort McMurray last year, the season is top of mind for a local academic who studies wildland fires in Alberta.
Professor Mike Flannigan at the University of Alberta, said there’s potential for an active wildfire season this year.
“We’ve had a fairly dry winter, so there’s not a lot of snow, and we have this window of opportunity to occur,” he said. “After the snow melts, until the grass greens up and the trees leaf out, that’s a window for fire.”
Flannigan added that Alberta has ideal fuel and weather for fires, and preventing humans from starting fires is important.
“We’ve seen some very serious fires in Alberta. We saw Slave Lake, we saw Fort McMurray last year, both were human-caused,” he said. “So if we can reduce human-caused ignitions, that can help reduce the problem.”
He said we can’t do anything about the weather, but we can be smart about how we live and play in Alberta forests and prevent fires before they begin.