Human-Caused Fires Rising Year-Over-Year in Fort McMurray Forest Area

Human-caused wildfires continue to be a problem in Wood Buffalo.

During last year’s wildfire season, there were 80 fires in the Fort McMurray Forest area with 36 per cent being caused by humans.

In 2018, 23 per cent of the fires were because of human activity while that number was at 28 per cent in 2017.

Overall, there were more fires in the previous two years, however, less were human-caused.

Area Information Officer Lynn Daina tells Mix News this issue goes even farther back.

“If we look back at the two largest fires we’ve had over the last decade, the Richardson Backcountry Fire which was almost 700,000 hectares and the Horse River wildfire which was close to 600,000 hectares, both human-caused.”

Residents are still being encouraged to enjoy the backcountry.

Daina says everyone needs to be extra cautious when starting a campfire or using an off-highway-vehicle.

“Just be very careful in the spring, it’s the most volatile time or the driest part of the year and everybody can have a great time but just make sure that you’re very cautious.”

Alberta’s wildfire season officially got underway on Sunday, one month earlier than anywhere else across Canada.

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