Alberta has declared a provincewide ban on open fires and is urging its residents to restrict recreational vehicle use.

With a rapidly growing fire raging around Fort McMurray, everyone would be asked to chip in to ensure the ongoing tragedy doesn't get any worse, said Agriculture and Forestry Minister Oneil Carlier and Environment Minister Shannon Phillips.

"Alberta is very hot and very dry," Phillips said at a news conference. "No one wants to be that person who caused another fire."

With the province's public safety resources stretched to its limits due to the unprecedented evacuation of the northern Alberta city, Phillips said everyone would be asked to do their part by restricting recreational activities that could exacerbate the risks and put new strains on public services.

She added that this would also be an important gesture for the many Albertans who have been asking what they can do to help the tens of thousands of Fort McMurray who were forced to flee from their homes.

The ban also was extended to include the use if incendiary targets which can explode, when shot with a firearm, creating fires, the government said.

Phillips also encouraged Albertans to restrict the use of Off Highway Vehicles.

Phillips also said that enforcement officers would also be out to enforce the fire ban and would penalize anyone who violates the order.

The fire ban doesn't apply to cities, towns, villages or summer villages or federal lands such as national parks. But it would apply to the province's Forest Protection Area, all counties, municipal districts and special areas such as provincial parks and recreation areas, the government said.

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