Westlock County Fire Services exists to provide fire protection with five individual volunteer fire departments located around the County. The Fire Services Department has one full-time County Fire Chief, five District Chiefs and over 90 volunteer fire fighters. The members are continually training to improve their skills. Westlock County emergency services are delivered within the county border serving all ratepayers. In the event of an emergency, please call 911 for dispatch of our nearest fire department listed below.
Hall 1 – Fawcett Fire Department
Hall 2 – Jarvie Fire Department
Hall 4 – Clyde Rural Fire Department
Hall 5 – Pickardville Fire Department
Hall 6 – Busby Fire Department
The County funds the entire operation with assistance in the way of fund raising by the volunteers within their departments, donations; each department has a fire hall, fire unit(s) and equipment. Westlock County Fire Services strives to provide our residents with safety education; including fire prevention information and fire smart training. We are proud of our child education program, which offers the traveling “Glenn Latimer” fire safety house that travels to schools and different events within the County.
For more information, view the Fire Protection Bylaw.
Fire Services Key Contacts
Manager of Protective Services
Westlock County Fire 780-349-3346
Westlock County Protective Service Wildfire Advisory Notice
In preparation for warmer weather, re-visit any winter burn sites to ensure those fires have been completely extinguished.
Many people aren’t aware that improperly extinguished fires can actually burn underground for months on end.
These smoldering fires can resurface during the spring months on hot, dry and windy days, quickly becoming an out of control wildfire.
When checking your winter burn sites, spread around any remaining debris so you can probe the area for hotspots. Use your bare hand to feel for heat over the ash piles.
If you see smoke or feel any heat, the fire is still burning beneath the surface. Douse any remaining hot spots with water and stir up the ashes. A fire is not completely extinguished until there is absolutely no heat emanating from the ashes.
Preventing Wildland Fires
The risk of wildland fires is high during the warmer months in Alberta. Wildland fires in forested areas and grasslands are of even greater concern when they burn near residential, industrial or agricultural developments. Report any suspicious activity or fires immediately.
Most people know to be careful with matches and cigarettes and to follow safe burning practices when cleaning up garbage and debris. Listed below are additional steps that homeowners in wildland or grassland settings can take to safeguard their homes against wildfire.
- Contact your insurance company and confirm you have the appropriate fire and Wildfire coverage before it happens!
- Clear the roof and gutters of needles and leaves.
- Keep the area within 10 metres of buildings free of flammable vegetation. This fuel-free zone provides firefighters with a defensible space to assist in stopping a wildfire's spread.
- Vegetation beyond the 10 metre defensible zone should be species that are less flammable like Aspen, Birch, Poplar and the Western Larch.
- Situate firewood, combustible debris, wooden outbuildings and fences at least 10 metres from buildings.
- Locate burning barrels at least 15 metres from buildings or flammable material. Barrels must be screened and in good order to control sparks.
- Keep vegetation and combustible material away from propane tanks.
- Contact your utility company to clear vegetation within a tree length of overhead power lines.
- Keep firefighting tools on hand. A shovel, rake, sprinkler, roof-top ladder and hose that reaches to the roof are essential.
- Check with local authorities before burning debris outside. If you do decide to burn brush, closely supervise the fire, keep a garden hose running nearby and keep children and pets far away from the area.
Watch the Alberta Fire Bans website for information on fire restrictions.
Update Effective 02:00pm, May 26, 2023, FIRE RESTRICTION is now in effect for Westlock County Jurisdiction.
(Fire Permits will be restricted to essential burning only e.g. Small Debris, Crop Removal)
Note: Residents who live or travel in the forest fire protection area zone 44 must adhere to provincial ban and Refer to Alberta Fire Control Zone Map.
- Exploding Targets & Tracer Rounds.
- Permits will not be issued for Large Brush; or
- No Backcountry Wood Fires on all Public Lands within Westlock County Jurisdiction; or
- No Tiki Torches; or
- No Fireworks; or
- Fires Using Charcoal Briquettes on all Public Lands within Westlock County Jurisdiction; or
- Target Shooting for recreational purposes, is prohibited on all Public Lands within Westlock County Jurisdiction; or
- The operation of any off-highway vehicle, for recreational purposes, is prohibited on all Public Lands located within Westlock County Jurisdiction.
This Order does not apply to the use of off-highway vehicle:
a. on private lands; or
b. by any individual when exercising a right recognized and affirmed under Part II of the Constitution Act, 1982 or a right under section 12 of the Natural Resources Transfer Agreement or when travelling to a location to exercise such a right.
Allowed: Backyard Fire Pits
must be minimum of three (3) meter clearance, measured from the nearest fire pit edge is maintained from buildings, property lines, or other combustible material and have a mesh screen with openings no larger than 12.5 mm and constructed of expanded metal (or equivalent non-combustible material), gas or propane stove barbeques or charcoal briquette barbeques and pellet/wood smokers.
Allowed: Portable propane fire pits. BBQ that are CSA approved or UL certified.
Allowed: Household Burn barrel / Incinerator shall be constructed of non-combustible material, shall be free of damage, shall be covered with a tight-fitting metal mesh screen with openings not more than 6 mm in size, shall be located on a non-combustible material base, and shall be located at least 3 meters away from any combustibles.
Allowed: Safe wood fire in random municipal or private campgrounds within designated fire rings and (including charcoal briquettes).
Supervise and extinguish all fires during windy dry conditions. If you are burning you SHALL have water, and extinguishing equipment handy and ready.
Any unpermitted activities are subject to fines in accordance with the Westlock County Fire Bylaw as per Schedule B.
Westlock County urges everyone to use extreme caution when working or driving in grassy areas, be mindful of hot exhaust and keep vehicles clean and free of debris as smoldering debris can fall off and start fires.
Always know your location and dial 911 for any emergency!
Fire Safety Resources
Most fires and fire deaths in Canadian homes are caused by cooking or smoking:
- Seniors aged 75 years and older have the highest risk of dying in home fires.
- Thirty per cent of all fires involved homes and 67 per cent of all fire deaths happened in homes.
- Most home fires occur in one- and two-family dwellings, and this partly reflects their higher proportion in the housing stock.
- Cooking is the leading cause of home fires and home-fire injuries.
- Kitchens are the leading area of origin for home fires (22 per cent) and civilian home fire injuries (29 per cent).
- Just eight per cent of home fires started in the living room/family room; these fires caused 33 per cent of home fire deaths and 17 per cent of home fire injuries.
- Nine per cent of reported home fires started in the bedroom. These fires caused 20 per cent of home fire deaths and 21 per cent of home-fire injuries.
- Smoking is the leading cause of home fire deaths.
Information source: http://www.bcstats.gov.bc.ca/statisticsbysubject/Demography/PopulationEstimates.aspx
Fire Safety Resources
- Fire Safety in Your Home (Government of Canada)
- Home Fire Safety (Red Cross)
- FireSmart Canada
- Alberta Wildfire
- Alberta Fire Bans
- Office of the Fire Commissioner
- Alberta Health Services
- Safety Codes Council
- Fire Prevention Canada
- How to Survive a Prolonged Power Outage
- Chimney Fire Prevention
- The Ultimate Home Fire-Safety Checklist: Tools and Safety Measures that will Keep Your Family Safe
Fire Permit Applications
The Fire Permit Program allows the Westlock County Fire Services to take a proactive approach to fire safety and education.
- All residents must have a fire permit before lighting any fires (please see Fire Protection Bylaws for more information).
- You must either come to the County Office or contact the Fire Guardian closest to the potential burn site as listed below.
- An application for approval to conduct open burning will need to be completed by the registered property owner for insurance purpose before contacting the Fire Guardian.
- Fire permits are issued year round within our county with the exception of ‘Fire Season’ when Westlock County Protection Services may have restrictions or bans in effect.
In the northern region of Westlock County we have a Forest Protection Area (as outlined in Gold or referred to as the Golden Zone) and permits must be obtained by contacting Lac la Biche Forest Area at 780-623-5388 following Provincial Bylaws and Regulations.
For more information, please see Fire Protection Bylaw 06-2020.
Online application system coming soon!
FREE FireSmart Assessments
County residents and businesses are invited to sign up for a free FireSmart Assessment.
FireSmart Assessments reduce the risk of wildfires on private property and the surrounding community and are available spring through fall.
As part of the assessment process, a member of Regional Fire Services:
- Visits your property checking for wildfire hazards on the exterior of buildings and your surrounding property,
- Provides a customized, detailed report with findings from the assessment,
- Provides practical tips to make your property safer from the risk of wildfires
Assessments could take up to two hours to complete, depending on area and the property owner is recommended to be present during the assessment.
Once the property owner completes mitigation work on their property, they can schedule to have a follow-up assessment completed by Regional Fire Service.
Join our team!! If you want to help people, work well with others, enjoy learning and are physically fit, you may be an ideal candidate as a volunteer with the Westlock County Fire Services.
- Must possess a valid class 5 Driver’s License and submit a current driver’s abstract with application.
- Must obtain a security clearance including vulnerable sector check from the RCMP.
- Must be able to perform physical duties as part of fire fighting.
- Must be able to obtain the required levels of training when courses are available.
- Must be available for 75% of practices
- Must be able to obtain a cell phone
Please contact the Westlock County Office for more information and to apply.
Yield to Green Lights
Seconds Count for First Responders
For those of us in rural and smaller urban areas, we receive our fire protection from volunteers, who often respond to emergencies in their own private vehicles. Seconds count in a fire or rescue situation and time lost enroute from a traffic congestion can make the difference.
Please Yield to Green Lights Flashing
When you see the GREEN LIGHT, please be courteous and yield the right-of-way and let them through. The Green Light gives the firefighters no special privileges when responding to an emergency. It is used only as an identifier to the drivers of other vehicles so that they may give up their right-of-way and allow the firefighter to get to the emergency unimpeded.
Fire Guardians assist with issuing fire permits and educate citizens on safe burning practices. Please contact the Fire Guardian based on your fire burning area:
Westlock/Clyde/Busby Area Ken Moon 780-915-9850
Pickardville/Busby/Clyde Area Harvey Provost 780-349-0668
Fawcett/Jarvie/Dapp Area Roy Forbes 780-349-0139
Westlock/Clyde Perry Lumayko 780-350-8410
* Please note that Fire Guardians have the authority to restrict burning, or not issue a permit at all, if unsafe weather conditions exist.
In addition to the Online Fire Permit application, before you purchase Fireworks, you must complete a Purchase and Discharge Application Form available here or at Westlock County Office BEFORE you contact the Fire Guardians and they will co-ordinate the best time to inspect site allowing time for you to complete the checklist and advise neighbours of the time and date.
NOTE: Low Hazard Family Fireworks are prohibited without permits and will not be issued in populated areas, due to disturbance and safety (Community Events are Exempt with Special Previsions).
Peat Burning Application
An application for a Fire Permit for burning Peat must be made on or before March 31st in a given calendar year. Fire Permits authorizing Peat burning shall only be issued between July 1st and August 31st. A Permit for burning Peat will be issued for 30 days and may be extended for a maximum of an additional 21 days with approval from the County Fire Chief.