How to Report a Wildfire
When it comes to fighting wildfires, timing is everything – the earlier we can get to a wildfire, the better. Prompt response can minimize losses and costs.
To achieve this, the Wildfire Management Branch uses a variety of tools such as aerial detection, lookout observers, and lightning mapping systems to quickly detect wildfires. But we can’t have eyes everywhere at once – we also need your help!
Over the past five years, more than 6,000 Albertans have called 310–FIRE. When you call in a wildfire or smoke in the forest, you are our eyes and ears on the ground. Unplanned detection sources can account for up to 40 per cent of wildfire discoveries in any given year!
Here are the details our dispatchers are looking for – check them out so that you’ll be prepared if you ever need to make the call.
We need to know where the wildfire is. Depending on where you are, this might include:
- An address – GPS coordinates or a legal land description, but even an intersection will do!
- Whether the wildfire is near a road or community
- Landmarks – like a wellsite, a campground, or a lake
- Any other details you can provide to help pinpoint the location
We need information about how the wildfire is burning. This helps ensure we’re prepared to fight the wildfire when we arrive.
- What is burning – grass? Trees? Is it on agricultural land?
- How fast is the wildfire spreading – is it stationary? If it’s moving, is it slower or faster than a normal walking speed?
- What color is the smoke – is it light grey? Dark grey to black?
- How thick is the smoke – light or heavy?
Any other relevant information about the situation that you can provide is helpful.
- What’s in the immediate area – people? Property?
- Is road access available to the area, or is it blocked?
- Do you see any clues as to what may have started the wildfire – like a campfire, off-highway vehicle, or lightning?
- Is water readily available at the scene?
We also appreciate it if you can provide your contact information for any follow-up questions we might have.
Calling 310-FIRE is quick and easy and it’s available 24/7, toll-free!
Next time you see smoke or a wildfire, please call 310–FIRE to report it.
Your phone call could help prevent a large and costly wildfire!