Province Honours Wildland Fire Crews Following Challenging Season


Alberta’s dedicated wildland firefighters protected people and property during one of the busiest wildfire seasons on record.

Wildland fire crewThese highly trained and experienced fire crews were called out to combat more than 1,700 fires that covered nearly 500,000 hectares.

“We are committed to the safety of Albertans by protecting their communities and their livelihoods from the danger of wildfire. That’s why we deeply appreciate and thank our dedicated team of wildland firefighters as they worked to help reduce the impact of a severe wildfire season that challenged all of Western Canada.”

Rachel Notley, Premier of Alberta

“An early spring, along with dry conditions, strong winds and thunderstorms created ideal conditions for extreme wildfire behaviour in Alberta. Still, over half of the wildfires we saw this year were human-caused. Albertans need to do their part to prevent wildfires.”

Oneil Carlier, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry

2015 fire season

  • 1,786 wildfires (third-highest number in the past 25 years)
  • More than 492,000 hectares burned (twice the 25-year average)
  • 64 fires over 200 hectares (25-year average is 19)
  • 2,904 Albertans were hired as emergency firefighters
  • 1,128 additional firefighters and various aircraft were brought in from Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, the United States, South Africa, New Zealand, Australia, and Mexico
  • 236 firefighters, equipment and aircraft were loaned to other parts of Canada and the United States to fight wildfires late in the season
  • Airtankers dropped almost 11,235,000 litres of retardant, more than would fill four Olympic-sized swimming pools.
  • Facilities
    • 127 lookouts
    • 14 airtanker bases
    • 43 fire bases
    • 11 warehousing facilities

In addition to $139 million that was budgeted at the start of the season for wildfire prevention, preparedness and management, Alberta provided an additional $375 million in emergency funding to cover the costs of fighting wildfires this season.

Albertans report about one-third of wildfires in the province. If you see a wildfire, call 310-FIRE (3473).