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Increased Risk of Wildfire During Drier Seasons, AER Bulletin 2023-25

Link to Bulletin Summarized

Oil and Gas – Monitoring

The AER reminded licensees that the risk of brush/grass fires increases significantly during wildfire season, which is from March 1 to October 31. The Alberta Agriculture and Forestry (“AAF”) has a tiered fire ban system restricting activities that may cause wildfires in the Forest Protection Area. The AAF may impose restrictions on the use of off-highway vehicles (“OHV”), used by industry, and for recreation.

Proactive fire control measures must be considered, including developing emergency response plans and acquiring and maintaining fire suppression equipment. Licensees should communicate with local fire departments to coordinate their mutual aid response during an emergency. Additionally, the AER recommended that operators: (i) adhere to a regular preventive maintenance schedule for flare stacks; (ii) regularly examine flares for carbon or soot buildup around the flare tip; and (iii) adequately pull apart and verify that older approved burn/brush piles are fully extinguished. To prevent vehicle-related fires, operators should ensure that OHVs have spark arrestors inside the muffler, vehicles are not parked with hot exhausts in dry grass areas, and regular checks are performed to ensure that nothing has ignited.

Operators and licensees must adhere to AER Directive 060: Upstream Petroleum Industry Flaring, Incinerating, and Venting; Alberta’s Forest and Prairie Protection Act and Directive 071: Emergency Preparedness and Response.

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