Help prevent wildfires

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It wouldn’t take much for a small flame or innocent spark to become a devastating wildfire right now.

With the summer of 2017 nearing record dry levels, officials at the local and provincial levels are practically pleading with people to use caution to prevent fires.

According to Environment Canada, this summer has been the 24th driest in the Calgary area since records were first taken in 1881. In some parts of the MD, accumulated precipitation has dropped to levels seen once every 50 years or more.

It’s created the perfect conditions for wildfires, and many of us have a role to play on the frontline to prevent fires before they start.

This means not throwing cigarette butts out of car windows, respecting fire bans and area closures, such as a large-scale closure of southwest Alberta forest protection areas announced Monday.

It means taking extra steps to ensure machinery and equipment are in working order. A simple spark is all that could be needed to start a fire.

With forecasts calling for dry, warm weather to continue into the fall, the fire hazard isn’t likely to go away any time soon.

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