Alberta Campgrounds Remain Busy Amid Record Temperatures and Smoke on May Long Weekend

Share this Post

Alberta’s camping season is in full swing, despite the hot and smoky conditions experienced over the May long weekend. 

As per a report, campgrounds in popular Alberta destinations were bustling throughout the Victoria Day long weekend, as bookings remained largely unaffected by fire and off-highway vehicle bans that covered the province.

Campers were in high spirits at McLean Creek Campground, west of Bragg Creek, where families were spotted enjoying outdoor games and activities. 

They used propane stand-ins instead of wood-burning campfires due to the fire ban. In addition to the experiences of campers, it is essential to highlight the importance of following fire bans and other safety measures during camping trips, particularly when the risk of wildfires is high.

Sigfried Schwarz, an owner of Mount Kidd RV Park and Campground, mentioned that the park was fully booked through the holiday weekend. 

The Kananaskis area campground experienced only one group who violated the fire ban rules by lighting a campfire. The campers quickly extinguished the flame when staff visited the site. Schwarz said that 99.9% of the people understand the situation and find other things to do, such as using propane fires, playing in designated areas, visiting tennis courts, or enjoying hiking trails.

Kateri Cowley of Cowley’s Rafter Six Ranch and campground, located near Exshaw, shared that they saw booking numbers similar to previous May long weekends. While acknowledging that some would-be campers might have stayed home due to the smoky weather, Cowley said campers are “pretty self-sufficient” when it comes to adjusting their plans during fire bans.

The economic impact of the outdoor recreation industry is substantial in Alberta, and the continued popularity of camping during challenging conditions can benefit local businesses and the overall economy. Supporting the outdoor recreation sector is crucial even when faced with adverse weather conditions or environmental concerns.

Nearly half of the nearly 500 wildfires in Alberta this year have been noted as human-caused, having burned 842,000 hectares of wildland so far. As of Sunday afternoon, 86 fires were burning in the province, with 23 of them out of control. The province closed 12 provincial parks and urged caution for campers and other outdoor enthusiasts ahead of the long weekend. As of Sunday, the fire danger was rated between very high and extreme.

Colin Blair, executive director of the Alberta Emergency Management Agency, said, “This weekend is not the time to drop our guard — the wildfire threat remains as serious as ever.” As of Friday, officials stated that roughly 275 houses, businesses, and other properties had been damaged by the fires, and more than 10,000 people had been forced to evacuate their homes.

Forecasted rain and cooler weather in several regions are expected to help combat the wildfires over the next few days, as temperatures drop from record-setting highs over the weekend.

Related Posts