Lacombe County reminds ratepayers that fire permit season starts on March 1, 2020.
In recent years, spring brought drier conditions very quickly, resulting in fire bans. As the County prepares for the 2020 fire permit season, they remind residents that it’s important to practice safe burning practices throughout the year.
“Residents are encouraged to check on any controlled burns performed outside of permit season, as larger burns can smoulder through the winter and reignite as it warms up,” said Drayton Bussiere, Lacombe County Fire Chief. “By obeying with the fire permit process and using safe burning practices, Lacombe County residents can help us keep our County safe throughout the season.”
Burning without a fire permit can result in a hefty fine.
In 2017, permit season was moved up a month – starting March 1 rather than April 1 – in response to changing environmental conditions, including drier spring conditions. Under Lacombe County’s Fire Protection Policy, anyone found burning without a permit will be required to pay for the fire department response fees. A flat rate of $300 will be charged for responses to a fire when a person is in contravention of the Forest and Prairie Protection Act for failure to have a fire permit or any other provision of the Act and fire suppression is not required.
“It’s about public safety and burning responsibly,” said Bussiere. “Fire permits are free of charge and easy to obtain, yet we continue to have situations where people don’t take out a permit and can be charged under the bylaw. The intent here is not to generate revenue, but to ensure the safety of all Lacombe County residents and their neighbours.”
The past several years have seen many producers brush lands and burn the brush during the winter months. It is very important to remember to check these piles as they can smolder for many months, and can be rekindled by wind. Combine this with dry spring conditions and the resulting fires can be disastrous.
Fires that are started by rekindled brush piles are your responsibility and you can also be charged for the fire response. Should a Fire Department respond to a fire for which a permit has not been issued, or if a permit has been issued and the permit holder contravenes any of the conditions of the permit, the property owner will be assessed costs at the following rates:
- Fire truck – $500 per hour
- Water truck – $300 per hour
- Rapid response unit/mini pumper – $300 per hour
- Equipment van – $300 per hour
- Equipment other than fire apparatus – Lacombe County cost
- Personnel other than fire department members – Lacombe County cost
Beginning on March 1, 2020, online fire permits can be submitted from the Lacombe County website homepage (www.lacombecounty.com), and through the “my Lacombe County” app (iPhone users). People are also able to request permits in person at the Lacombe County Office, or by calling 403-782-8959.
-Submitted by Lacombe County