Someone has some explaining to do.
The Province of Alberta recently issued a release noting that the Canmore wildfire from earlier this month had been started by an abandoned campfire.
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The release notes that the wildfire had burned over 676 hectares of land north of Canmore in the Devil’s Head area, which is a popular spot for hunters and hikers.
“There’s no excuse for leaving a campfire unattended,” said Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Devin Dreeshen in the release.
“Before you leave, ensure it’s completely extinguished: soak it, stir it and soak it again. Last year, 71% of wildfires were caused by humans and were entirely preventable. We must do better.”
Fire investigators are looking to speak to anyone who was in the area between August 30 and September 4, when the fire was first reported.
Those found guilty of failing to extinguish their campfire can face charges of up to $840, while those who are also found guilty of starting a wildfire may be brought to court for additional charges.
Anyone who is lighting a campfire is encouraged to let it burn down before extinguishing it, spreading the embers in the fire pit, then stirring in lose dirt and/or water. The fire should continuously be extinguished until there is no more smoke or steam.
It is not recommended to try to bury your campfire, as the embers can continue to burn and smoulder underground. Once fully extinguished, you should not be able to feel any heat from the fire pit.