This is the season for dry conditions and grassfire risk.

According to the “Alberta Drought Conditions Map March-2022", Cochrane is in a Moderate Drought area.  

Cochrane Fire Services, Fire Inspector Jeff Avery says there is some moisture in the ground but that could change very quickly with the right conditions, “Right now there’s still a little bit of moisture in this ground but once the temperatures start to increase and we see those high westerly winds that’s when we get really concerned that it starts to dry everything out.” 

Typically, this time of year the grass fire season begins, due to the dry conditions. Avery says, "This is naturally our grass fire season; we’re pretty much surrounded with dry tall grass as well as the trees. We didn’t get a ton of snowfall in Cochrane and it did melt off pretty quickly but we’re going to need quite a bit of moisture to green everything up.” 

Avery says there are no fire bans in effect at this time but that does not mean that people should become lax with fire precautions. “We just want to remind residents if they are burning in their backyard fire pit, no construction materials. When you do leave any fire, leave it cold to the touch. And if you do see any smoke in the air, absolutely, call 911 so we can go check it out to make sure it doesn’t involve something really large.”  

Unfortunately, one of the common most common wildfire starters is discarded cigarette butts. Avery says it continues to be a concerning issue and cautions all residents to be aware that it is dry out there and to exercise common sense.  

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