Since 2017, the use of fireworks within the Forest Protection Area (FPA) has been prohibited without written permission from a Forest Officer.
Written permission is required year-round. Those seeking written permission to shoot, discharge, detonate or ignite fireworks within the FPA may apply for written permission from a Forest Officer at your local forest area office.
Laws governing fireworks
If you plan to shoot, discharge, detonate or ignite fireworks, you should become familiar with the details of the Explosives Act and Explosives Regulations administered by Natural Resources Canada (NRCan).
The Explosives Act describes the requirements for anyone working with explosives, certification, licensing, storage and types of F.1 – F.4 fireworks covered under the Act, while the Explosives Regulations provides governance for the safe and secure handling and storage of fireworks. Under the Explosive regulations, a user who is under 18 years of age may use consumer fireworks under the supervision of a person who is at least 18 years old.
The Forest and Prairie Protection Act and associated regulations apply to the discharge and ignition of fireworks on public lands and private lands located within the FPA.
A fire advisory, restriction, ban or area closure may prohibit or limit use of fireworks within the FPA during high fire danger situations. Check albertafirebans.ca or mobile phone app for the latest information
Written permission for low hazard consumer fireworks may be applied for and granted by a Forest Officer. Fireworks approval will be determined based on current and expected wildfire danger and handled on a case-by-case basis.
Written permission for high hazard fireworks may have additional municipal or site-specific requirements before a Forest Officer may issue approval, contact your local forest area office for additional information.
Anyone wishing to shoot, discharge, detonate or ignite fireworks within a municipal district should familiarize themselves with the applicable municipal bylaws and contact the local municipal fire department for further clarification on fireworks use within their boundaries.
Types of fireworks
Type F.1 low-hazard fireworks
Consumer fireworks are low-danger articles designed for consumer use by the public. These articles include such names as fountains, volcanoes, pinwheels, cakes, mines and snakes (Canadian class 7.2.1 / Type F.1).
Type F.2, F.3 and F.4 (accessory) high-hazard fireworks
Display fireworks are high-hazard articles designed for consumer use at public gatherings. These articles include aerial shells, mines, cakes, waterfalls, lances, larger Roman candles and wheels (Canadian class 7.22 / Type F.2 and accessories Type F.4).
Special effect pyrotechnics are high-hazard pyrotechnic articles designed for use by commercial professionals holding a fireworks operator certificate. These articles include such names as gerbs, mines, comets, crossettes and special-purpose pyrotechnics made for live stage performances and the film and television industry (Type F.3 and accessories Type F.4).
Requesting written permission
When requesting written permission for fireworks, 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 fireworks that will be discharged, detonated or ignited
- proof of notifying stakeholders that may be affected by fireworks activity or gathering may be required
Additional information for high-hazard fireworks may be required:
- location photo / map
- display / suppression plan
- certificate of liability insurance
- additional stakeholder notifications
- There are additional federally legislated documents that may apply to this activity, such as the fireworks operator certificate, 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 the fireworks written permission in some municipalities. The Forest Officer may also make municipal approval a condition of some written permissions.
The Forest and Prairie Protection Act and associated regulations legislates the use, discharge and ignition of fireworks within the FPA of Alberta. Written permission to discharge or ignite fireworks 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 fined and prosecuted in the courts.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police may also pursue additional charges under legislation that includes mischief or arson in 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