Alberta's Wildfire Season To Begin Early, Crews To Start Work March 1

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Alberta wildfires: About 4,000 people were ordered to leave their homes in Southern Alberta in September of 2012 because of a large grass fire. | CP

EDMONTON - Alberta is bracing for another early forest-fire season by readying crews in advance.

Like last year, wildfire crews will be on duty starting March 1 instead of April 1.

Starting the season early when conditions are dry was a recommendation in the review into the May 2011 wildfires that ravaged the Slave Lake area.

The flames destroyed hundreds of homes, forced thousands from the community and caused an estimated $1 billion in damage, firefighting and relief costs.

Wildfires last year in Alberta burned 3,750 square kilometres of timber — about 1.5 times more than the five-year average.

Alberta Environment says last year nearly 80 per cent of wildfires were caused by people, compared to the usual average of about 60 per cent.

Also on The Huffington Post

Lethbridge Fire, Sept. 10
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