Best Winter Burning Practices

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The risk of a wildfire doesn’t end when wildfire season does – any time there is a fire on the land, there is a risk that it can spread.

Now that the fire season is over, Albertans no longer require a fire permit for burning within the Forest Protection Area. However, safe burning practices are always in season. If fires aren’t properly put out, they can spread and burn underground, under the snow and ice, all winter. Under the right conditions, these fires can re-emerge in the spring as wildfires.

Take the time to properly prepare your burn site. Know the requirements needed to be successful during your burn and how to properly extinguish your site.

Before You Burn

After You Burn

Smoke Safety

The lower fire hazard in winter is a safer time to consider doing your burns. There are still some necessary precautions to take before burning, like monitoring the weather to ensure smoke from your burn won’t negatively impact surrounding areas.

For information on ventilation conditions within the province, visit Environment Canada’s Ventilation Index.

Know the requirements needed to be successful during your burn and how to properly extinguish your site.

On particularly cold winter days, inversions and other weather factors can cause smoke from a winter burn to stay close to the ground and travel great distances. An inversion happens when cold air is trapped near the ground by a layer of warmer air above it. Inversions can cause dangerous driving conditions and impact nearby communities.

When Burning in Winter


Safe burning practices are always in season – don’t let your winter burn come back to life in the spring.

For more information on local weather during the winter, please visit Environment Canada website. Additional provincial weather information related to wildfire conditions can be found on the Alberta Wildfire website. For safety tips on driving in smoky areas, visit the Alberta Transportation website. If you see smoke that is creating a safety concern on roadways, please report it to Alberta 511. To report a wildfire, call 310-FIRE (3473).

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