Wildfire suppression encompasses all activities concerned with controlling and extinguishing a wildfire following its detection.

Forestry Division has two main objectives in wildfire suppression:

  • To contain fire spread by 10:00 a.m. the following day
  • To initiate suppression before the fire exceeds two hectares (4.9 acres) in size

The Alberta Wildfire Coordination Centre, located in Edmonton, works with the 10 Fire Centres in the Province to coordinate suppression and pre-suppression efforts.

The province has access to highly trained wildland firefighters. The province also leases or contracts a number of resources, including:

  • Airtankers
  • Bulldozers
  • Catering camps
  • Crawlers
  • Helicopters
  • Low-boys
  • Patrol aircraft

These and other resources allow crews to get to a wildfire fast and to stay with it until it is extinguished.

Alberta has cooperative agreements with the other Canadian provinces, as well as with the United States, Mexico, Australia and New Zealand. This allows Alberta to import and export resources as needed.

The priority for the allocation and use of firefighting resources in the Forest Protection Area is based on the following criteria (listed in order of highest priority):

  • Human life
  • Communities
  • Watershed and Sensitive Soils
  • Natural Resources
  • Infrastructure

Updated: Mar 2, 2017