Fire Ban System

Alberta Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Economic Development has a tiered fire ban system restricting activities that may cause wildfires in the Forest Protection Area (FPA) of Alberta. Fire bans, fire restrictions, OHV restrictions and fire advisories have proven to be effective prevention tools in reducing the number of human-caused wildfires. These are temporary measures brought in according to conditions. As fire danger levels rise or fall, these restrictions can be adjusted to reduce the likelihood of preventable wildfires.

Alberta Fire Bans

The Alberta Fire Bans website is a single portal to all active fire advisories, fire restrictions and fire bans across the province. Planning to enjoy a campfire? Before you head out, please check the website for the latest fire ban information.

Alberta Fire Ban System Approved Activities

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Alberta fire bans; yellow  level 2, fire advisory

Fire Advisory: The fire danger rating has increased. Fire permits may be restricted. Safe campfires are allowed in campgrounds and backcountry or random camping areas, but this level is a warning they may be restricted if the situation doesn’t improve.

Activity

Restriction level

Fire Permits

May be restricted or suspended

Safe wood campfires1 on public lands

Allowed

Safe wood campfires1 in a designated campground2

Allowed

Safe wood campfires1 on private land

Allowed

Safe wood campfire1 in backyard fire pits

Allowed

Barbeque - Charcoal briquette

Allowed

Fireworks

Always prohibited without written permission of a Forest Officer

Exploding targets

Always prohibited without written permission of a Forest Officer

Propane / natural gas powered appliances

Allowed

Indoor wood fire3

Allowed

Open flame oil devices4 Allowed
  1. Safe wood campfires should be within a metal, brick, or rock fire ring. They are required to:
    1. be on rock, gravel, sand, or another non-combustible surface that extends at least one metre around the fire
    2. have a responsible person in attendance to keep fire under control at all times and extinguish before leaving
    3. have enough water on site to extinguish the fire.

    Safe wood campfires on private lands include private land campgrounds and private land recreation areas. Please note - Municipalities, campgrounds, and parks (federal and provincial), may have additional fire safety requirements.

  2. A designated campground includes campgrounds on private and public land provided the occupant has their safe wood campfires1 in a permanently installed engineered fire ring.
  3. An indoor wood fire is a fire inside a structure (such as facility, building, tent, or RV) and contained within a device with a chimney and spark arrestor.
  4. Open flame oil devices: all devices (deep fryers and tiki torches) must be used per manufacturer standards.
  5. An off-highway vehicle (OHV) is defined in section 117 of the Traffic Safety Act.

Users are still responsible for care and attendance of all devices/appliances and should reduce their use during fire restrictions and bans. Approved activities or devices/appliances will not prevent potential prosecution or litigation if the user or device/appliance starts a wildfire.

This document is for reference only. If there is a discrepancy between this document and a Ministerial Order, the details of the Ministerial Order are to be followed.

Alberta fire bans; orange  level 3, fire restriction

Fire Restriction: A fire restriction prohibits the use of wood campfires on public land but does allow wood campfires inside provincial campgrounds and private property. Fire permits may be restricted, suspended, or cancelled and no new fire permits will be issued.

If the situation continues to worsen, Alberta Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Economic Development will put on a fire ban.

Activity

Restriction level

Fire Permits

Restricted or suspended

Safe wood campfires1 on public lands

Not allowed

Safe wood campfires1 in a designated campground2

Allowed

Safe wood campfires1 on private land

Allowed

Safe wood campfire1 in backyard fire pits

Allowed

Barbeque - Charcoal briquette

Allowed

Fireworks

Always prohibited without written permission of a Forest Officer

Exploding targets

Always prohibited without written permission of a Forest Officer

Propane / natural gas powered appliances

Allowed

Indoor wood fire3

Allowed

Open flame oil devices4 Allowed
  1. Safe wood campfires should be within a metal, brick, or rock fire ring. They are required to:
    1. be on rock, gravel, sand, or another non-combustible surface that extends at least one metre around the fire
    2. have a responsible person in attendance to keep fire under control at all times and extinguish before leaving
    3. have enough water on site to extinguish the fire.

    Safe wood campfires on private lands include private land campgrounds and private land recreation areas. Please note - Municipalities, campgrounds, and parks (federal and provincial), may have additional fire safety requirements.

  2. A designated campground includes campgrounds on private and public land provided the occupant has their safe wood campfires1 in a permanently installed engineered fire ring.
  3. An indoor wood fire is a fire inside a structure (such as facility, building, tent, or RV) and contained within a device with a chimney and spark arrestor.
  4. Open flame oil devices: all devices (deep fryers and tiki torches) must be used per manufacturer standards.
  5. An off-highway vehicle (OHV) is defined in section 117 of the Traffic Safety Act.

Users are still responsible for care and attendance of all devices/appliances and should reduce their use during fire restrictions and bans. Approved activities or devices/appliances will not prevent potential prosecution or litigation if the user or device/appliance starts a wildfire.

This document is for reference only. If there is a discrepancy between this document and a Ministerial Order, the details of the Ministerial Order are to be followed.

Alberta fire bans; red  level 4, fire ban

Fire Ban: A fire ban prohibits wood campfires on public land, campgrounds, and private land including backyard fire pits. Fire permits will be suspended or cancelled, and no new permits will be issued.

Activity

Restriction level

Fire Permits

Suspended

Safe wood campfires1 on public lands

Not allowed

Safe wood campfires1 in a designated campground2

Not allowed

Safe wood campfires1 on private land

Not allowed

Safe wood campfire1 in backyard fire pits

Not allowed

Barbeque - Charcoal briquette

Not allowed

Fireworks

Not allowed

Exploding targets

Not allowed

Propane / natural gas powered appliances

Allowed

Indoor wood fire3

Allowed

Open flame oil devices4 Allowed
  1. Safe wood campfires should be within a metal, brick, or rock fire ring. They are required to:
    1. be on rock, gravel, sand, or another non-combustible surface that extends at least one metre around the fire
    2. have a responsible person in attendance to keep fire under control at all times and extinguish before leaving
    3. have enough water on site to extinguish the fire.

    Safe wood campfires on private lands include private land campgrounds and private land recreation areas. Please note - Municipalities, campgrounds, and parks (federal and provincial), may have additional fire safety requirements.

  2. A designated campground includes campgrounds on private and public land provided the occupant has their safe wood campfires1 in a permanently installed engineered fire ring.
  3. An indoor wood fire is a fire inside a structure (such as facility, building, tent, or RV) and contained within a device with a chimney and spark arrestor.
  4. Open flame oil devices: all devices (deep fryers and tiki torches) must be used per manufacturer standards.
  5. An off-highway vehicle (OHV) is defined in section 117 of the Traffic Safety Act.

Users are still responsible for care and attendance of all devices/appliances and should reduce their use during fire restrictions and bans. Approved activities or devices/appliances will not prevent potential prosecution or litigation if the user or device/appliance starts a wildfire.

This document is for reference only. If there is a discrepancy between this document and a Ministerial Order, the details of the Ministerial Order are to be followed.

Alberta fire bans; grey level 6, off-highway vehicle restriction

An OHV restriction prohibits the use of off-highway vehicles on public lands including designated OHV trails. An off-highway vehicle is a motorized vehicle designed to go beyond defined roadways, including but not limited to: quads, side by sides, dirt bikes, jeeps, pickup trucks, sport utility vehicles and snowmobiles.

Alberta fire bans; black  level 5, forest area closure

Forest Closure: The fire danger has reached such extreme levels that portions of the forest are closed and no access is permitted for public safety concerns. Access will only be granted by permit for those required to enter those specified lands.

Jurisdiction

Alberta Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Economic Development is the wildfire authority (under the Forest and Prairie Protection Act) in the FPA of Alberta. Alberta Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Economic Development manages and responds to all wildfires in this area and is responsible for issuing permits and putting on fire bans.

Even if they are within the FPA, any city, town, village or summer village has the authority to put on their own fire bans as they are outside Alberta Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Economic Development’s jurisdiction.

Ministerial Orders

During times of high wildfire hazard, the province may use a ministerial order to issue a fire restriction, fire ban OHV restriction or forest closure within the Forest Protection Area. This is a temporary law put in place to lower the risk of human-caused wildfires when the hazard is high. Check below for a list of past and present orders related to Forestry Division activities.


Updated: May 17, 2022