Exploding targets

Since 2017, the use of exploding targets within the Forest Protection Area (FPA) has been prohibited without written permission from a Forest Officer.

Written permission is required year-round. Those seeking permission to use exploding targets within the FPA, may apply for written permission from a Forest Officer at your local forest area office.

Open All

Federal legislation

If you use, purchase, transport or store exploding targets, you should be familiar with the details of the Explosives Act and Explosives Regulation administered by Natural Resources Canada (NRCan).

The Explosives Act and Explosives Regulation set the requirements for anyone working with explosives, certification, licensing, storage and types of S.1 and S.2 restricted explosives under the Act, while the regulations provides governance for the safe and secure handling and storage of explosives. Under the Explosives Regulation, you must be 18 to purchase or carry out an activity involving an explosive.

Provincial legislation

The Forest and Prairie Protection Act and associated regulations applies to the shooting, ignition or detonation of exploding targets on public lands and private lands located within the FPA.

A Forest Officer from the local forest area office may grant written permission to shoot, ignite or detonate an exploding target in the FPA pursuant to section 8 of the Forest and Prairie Protection Regulation (FPPR). Written permission of exploding targets is based on current wildfire danger and managed on a case-by-case basis.

A fire advisory, restriction, ban or forest closure may prohibit or limit use of exploding targets during high wildfire hazard situations within the FPA. Check the albertafirebans.ca or mobile phone app for the latest information.

Municipal legislation

Anyone wishing to discharge exploding targets within a municipal district should familiarize themselves with the applicable municipal bylaws and contact the local municipal fire department for clarification on exploding target permit requirements within their boundaries.

Type S.1 low-hazard and Type S.2 high-hazard exploding targets are articles designed for consumer and commercial use that become reactive targets when hit by a projectile of sufficient velocity. (These articles include but are not limited to air gun, rifle, archery and binary kit exploding targets).

Type S.1 low-hazard exploding target examples include Firebird targets which are regulated under section 8 of the Forest and Prairie Protection Regulation, while highway flares, personal distress signals, bird scaring devices, fire extinguisher cartridges which are regulated under section 9.

Written permission is not required for the emergency use of flaring devices. However, any person igniting a flaring device is required to immediately extinguish all burning residue from the device.

Type S.2 high-hazard exploding target examples include but are not limited to: Tannerite rifle, Sonic Boom rifle and rim-fire and White Lightning rim-fire exploding targets.

When requesting written permission for exploding targets the following information is required:

  • name or organization name, address and phone number
  • legal land location where event or gathering is to occur
  • list of exploding targets to be shot, ignited or detonated

Additional information may be required for Type S.2 exploding targets written permission:

  • certificate of liability insurance
  • map of the event or activity area. (attach to the written permission)
  • proof of notifying stakeholders that may be affected by exploding target activity or event
  • There are additional federally legislated documents that may apply to this activity, such as, the federal Firearms Possession and Acquisition License (PAL) or Magazine License. It is recommended that these documents be produced where applicable by the applicant upon a forest officer’s request and the identification number may be recorded on the written permission form.

Local municipal fire department approval may be required in addition to Forest Officer permission in some municipalities. The Forest Officer may also make municipal approval a condition or permission.

The Forest and Prairie Protection Act and associated regulations legislates the use, discharge or detonation of exploding targets within the FPA of Alberta. Written permission to discharge or detonate is required under the Act.

Alberta Peace Officers may issue warning or violation tickets under the Act. Violators can be ticketed at $600. Individuals who knowingly contravene the Act and start a wildfire can be further prosecuted in the courts.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police may also pursue additional charges under legislation that includes mischief or arson under the Criminal Code of Canada.

Interested applicants can apply through the GOA jobs board. For job specific questions please use the contact information below.

Updated: Dec 17, 2020

Updated: Apr 4, 2022