We’re prepared. Are you? The City is ready for the 2024 wildfire season 
April 16, 2024

The City is assuring Edmontonians that with the potential for a dry summer and increased fire risk, we’re prepared to respond to emergencies—and reminding everyone that it is a team effort. 

“Last year, wildfires across Alberta and Canada made headlines for much of our spring and summer. Municipalities and areas across the country were evacuated, and forested areas and infrastructure were destroyed,” said Fire Chief Joe Zatylny, Edmonton Fire Rescue Services. “In Edmonton and surrounding areas, significant grass fires came close to communities, and many occurred right within our city limits. These fires encroached upon buildings and put a strain on firefighting resources.”

Across Edmonton, there have been over 145 wildfires since January 1, 2024. These have occurred from the outskirts of the city and into our river valley, one of Edmonton’s most expansive assets that stretches across 7,300 hectares of urban forest. While its size, composition and beauty bring thousands of visitors a year, it also brings significant concern and risk for fires and the potential for devastation to forestry and infrastructure. 

“City Administration, including Edmonton Fire, works diligently throughout the year to prevent, prepare and respond to fires in this area. Our response can be scaled according to the size of the fire, and we reallocate resources to deal with the specific emergency,” said Chief Zatylny. “Our firefighters and dispatchers are of the highest quality, they are highly trained — and will always continue to train — in disaster response. Edmonton has processes and procedures in place, along with watching and learning from other municipalities, to ensure that we remain at the ready.”

The weather conditions, including the amount of precipitation and winds, play a large role in the ignition and reaction of wildfires. The City of Edmonton constantly monitors conditions and wildfire activity to help determine the need for a fire advisory or a total fire ban.

The City of Edmonton is prepared but we need Edmontonians’ help.  
“With the unpredictable and natural causes of wildfires, we must also consider accidental and — unfortunately — intentional wildfires. These can often be caused by the illegal use of fireworks, improper use of fire pits and the dangerous disposal of smoking materials,” said Chief Zatylny. “We want Edmontonians to know that their actions can have consequences on their own property, those of their neighbours, their community and across the city. There can also be consequences to human safety and, in some cases, human life.”

What can you do? 
  • Become FireSmart - Everyone, including homeowners, property owners, and communities, can become FireSmart. FireSmart is more than a collection of best practices, programs, resources, and tools. FireSmart is a way of living with and managing the risk of wildfire. It is a shared responsibility between government, community leaders, neighbourhoods, and residents. Check the Firesmart Alberta website for more information on what you can do to reduce the risk of wildfire impacting your home. 
  • Follow all rules around fireworks, fire bans or restrictions. We know that these can affect the enjoyment of activities, but we initiate these for the safety and protection of people, property and our resources.

“If a wildfire should happen, the City of Edmonton is prepared. However, we need everyone to play a role and help us. We want Edmontonians to know the actions they can take to prevent wildfires,” said Chief Zatylny. 

To find more information about preventing fires, preparing for an emergency, and taking FireSmart actions, visit edmonton.ca/wildfires
For more information:

Media contact: 
Senior Communications Advisor
Edmonton Fire Rescue Services