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County encourages residents to complete tasks to keep their homes fire safe

Online Bingo game offers prices and tips for rural residents 

ST. PAUL - The County of St. Paul is offering residents the chance to win prizes, and all they have to do is get their properties fire safe. 

The purpose being the FireSmart Bingo is to inform residents about the importance of using FireSmart practices on their property.  

“Being FireSmart means preparing your home and property so that it will be more resilient to wildfire,” according to information from the County of St. Paul. 

Things that can be done include cleaning out gutters, inspecting roof shingles, and making sure residents’ rural address sign is clear and visible. 

“The contest partners are always looking at ways to engage with residents,” according to Deputy Fire Chief of the St. Paul Fire Department Henry Thomson. He notes that community engagement has been challenging due to the pandemic.  

The online contest is one way county residents can learn about FireSmart practices and also win some prizes as an added incentive. 

The online bingo card includes 24 spaces that have 24 different FireSmart tasks to complete. Residents must register for the game, complete the tasks, and upload photos of the completed tasks.  

To be entered in the contest, a resident has to complete 12 of the 24 tasks. 

The grand prize is a $200 barbecue meal package for six provided by the St. Paul Cornerstone Co-op. There are also nine additional prizes sponsored by Co-op and FireSmart Canada. Prizes include a gardening package valued at $45 each 

The contest is running until May 31. To access the link to the Bingo game and get more information, visit the County of St. Paul’s website.  

The contest is a partnership between the County of St. Paul. FireSmart Canada, St. Paul Cornerstone Co-op, St. Paul Fire Department, Elk Point Fire Department, Ashmont Fire Department, and Mallaig Fire Department. 

Across the province, 88 per cent of last season’s wildfires were human-caused, according to the Government of Alberta. 

Wildfire season in Alberta 

Wildfire season runs from March 1 to Oct. 31 in Alberta. That means permits are now required for activities such as residential, industrial or agricultural debris burning. 

“The wildfire hazard is highest in the spring months when fuels like trees and grass have extremely low moisture content after the snow has melted and evaporated,” according to the Government of Alberta. 

Last season was one of the slowest years Alberta has seen in decades in terms of both number of wildfires and area burned.  

“In the 2020 wildfire season, Alberta saw 704 wildfires burn just over 3,269 hectares (8,068 acres). That’s less than one per cent of total area burned when compared to the five-year average,” according to the Government of Alberta. 

Up-to-date information on fire restrictions, fire bans, OHV restrictions and general wildfire information is available at or by calling 1-866-FYI-FIRE (1-866-394-3473). To report a wildfire, call 310-FIRE (310-3473) toll-free, from anywhere in Alberta.