May 17, 2019 by THE CANADIAN PRESS
EDMONTON – The Alberta government has imposed a fire ban and restrictions on off-highway vehicle use in the northern half of the province.
The government says the decision was made due to the growing threat of wildfires.
The areas affected include public land west and north of Slave Lake, north of Lac La Biche up to north of Fort McMurray, west of Peace River and north to the Northwest Territories boundary.
The order includes a ban on recreational off-highway vehicles.
All fire permits are suspended in the fire ban areas.
Devin Dreeshen, minister of agriculture and forestry, says windy conditions, along with continued warm and dry weather, have increased the risk of wildfire throughout the region.
“This fire ban will ensure the safety of Albertans and their communities as well as protecting our forests by reducing that risk,” he said Thursday in a release.
The wildfire threat forecast for Friday is listed as extreme in some areas, including north of Lesser Slave Lake.
Indigenous people are exempt from the off-highway vehicle restriction if used on reserve lands.
Essential industry-related activities that require the use of off-highway vehicles can be exempted from the ban with the approval of a local forest officer.