Alberta wildfire season is off to a blazing start, 57 fires burning

A little over a month into Alberta's wildfire season, 57 fires are burning

With the 2024 wildfire season heavily looming over the backs of Canadians after last year’s historic wildfire season, none will be feeling the pressure more than Western Canada. Widespread drought, low snow-pack levels, and warm temperatures have many people fearing for what this season will bring.

Alberta’s wildfire season typically runs from March 1 to Oct. 31, but on Feb. 20, Alberta’s forestry minister declared an early start to the season, allowing for the province to expand their wildland firefighter numbers and proactively prepare for what’s to come.

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Now, over a full month into the wildfire season, Alberta is battling 57 active wildfires, 50 of which are fires still burning deep in the ground from 2023.

Alberta's active wildfires as of April 1, 2024

Alberta's number of active wildfires as of April 1, 2024. (Alberta Wildlife)

All but one of these 57 fires are either being held or are under control. One fire north of Slave Lake, Alta., (fire number SWF013) is listed as “out of control” and has so far burned an estimated 54 hectares, as of April 1.

The cause of the fire, which started early in the afternoon on March 31, is still under investigation. At this time, no communities or residents are at risk from this fire.

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Alberta Wildfire has the Slave Lake Forest Area listed at a high wildfire danger level due to warm temperatures and gusty winds. The area is also under a fire advisory, which halts any new fire permits for the area from being issued.

WATCH: Early wildfire season declared in Alberta, here's what that means

Thumbnail image taken by Kyle Brittain on May 14, 2023.