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Many western Canadian fire crews started prepping early for this year's wildfires, and it's looking like their diligence will pay off.

Homes burn as Western wildfires rage. Latest here


Daniel Martins
Digital Reporter

Friday, April 22, 2016, 6:53 PM - Many western Canadian fire crews started prepping early for this year's wildfires, and it's looking like their diligence was prescient.

Alberta has already seen some evacuation alerts and highway closures earlier this week. On Tuesday, for example, two homes and several other structures burned in Lamont County, according to the CBC

Alberta has already had more than 150 wildfires, around 50 per cent higher than at the same time in 2015.

CBC reports at least one home in the Fort St. John area has burned, along with several other structures. Several highways in the area were temporarily closed this week, and the fires prompted hundreds of power outages.

In the short-term, at least, firefighters can expect little help from the elements.

Winds have generally not been too strong, which has been a boon for firefighters struggling against the flames -- but high pressure has been keeping conditions dry. 

That high pressure is set to move out beginning on the weekend.

"Becoming unsettled in the west this weekend and early next week with some much needed rain (snow in the mountains) for B.C. and Alberta," says Weather Network meteorologist Dr. Doug Gillham.

"Cooler temperatures along with the precipitation is good news for the wildfire situation. Also some good news for agriculture."

In the meantime, Alberta has some tips on preventing wildfires:

  • When putting out fires, especially burn piles or campfires, soak the fire with water, stir the ashes and soak again. The ashes should not be hot to the touch.
  • When using an off-road vehicle, stop occasionally to check for any debris that may be caught, superheated, drop to the ground and start a wildfire.
  • Check any fall and winter burns to make sure they are completely extinguished.

Watch more: Alberta's first confirmed tornado of the season captured on camera


SOURCES: CBC | CBC | Alberta Wildfires | B.C. Wildfire Management Branch

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