of The Clarion
A fire ban has been put in place for the Town of Kindersley. The ban on open fires, fire pits and fireworks is expected to continue for the foreseeable future.
The town’s fire ban became effective on July 30 after fire officials worked with town officials to declare the ban. According to a news release, a ban has been declared due to extreme fire hazards resulting from an extended period of hot and dry conditions.
Open fires, fire pits and fireworks are banned on all private and public properties in the geographic boundary of the Town of Kindersley. Gas, propane and charcoal briquette barbecues with lids, along with contained chiminea units with doors, are permitted during the ban, but only for the purpose of cooking and heating.
The ban has been declared under Bylaw 23-09, a bylaw respecting fire prevention, and the lack of rainfall in recent weeks has resulted in the conditions leading to a fire ban. The ban will remain in effect until conditions improve and the declaration is rescinded, officials say.
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As stated in the release, failure to comply with the ban could result in a fine of up to $5,000 for individuals or a fine of up to $10,000 for businesses and corporations. The release adds that other area municipalities have bans in place.
The bylaw states that the fire chief could issue a written declaration banning burning or incineration of any kind in the municipality, and then the town’s chief administrative officer (CAO) has to authorize the ban. According to the bylaw, the authorized written declaration will provide the effective date of the ban,in this case July 30, and other relevant details of the ban as deemed appropriate by the fire chief in consultation with the CAO. Chief Ron Hope, who signed the declaration, is away on vacation.
Deputy Chief Jeff Soveran said he worked with town officials over the weekend to get the ban in place. He noted that it is important for residents to abide by the conditions of the ban to avoid any unnecessary fires.
“Everything is so dry,” he said, adding that a spark or cinder from an open fire could easily set grass or structures a blaze. “The conditions are just perfect for a fire and it’s the last thing that we want to happen in town.”
Soveran said putting a fire ban in place is a joint effort between the fire department and the municipality, so fire officials make a recommendation to the town and municipal officials declare the ban in accordance with the town’s bylaw. He said officials will also take the weather forecast into consideration when enacting a ban.
He noted that fire bans have been put in place before, and then it has rained within a couple of days of the effective date of the ban. Soveran said fire bans could be lifted as easily as they are enacted, but significant rain is needed to lift the ban.
It is better to be safe than sorry, so he said it is best to declare a ban due to the conditions. Bans are important in rural municipalities with a potential for large grass fires, but the bans are also important in urban municipalities if the conditions call for it.
Soveran said the Kindersley Fire & Rescue Brigade has responded to at least four grass fires in 2017, an above average number of grass fires by this time. Firefighters from Kindersley responded to a big grass fire near Smiley on July 23, but fire crews and citizens were able to prevent the fire from spreading, he added.
Pam Wake, a special constable for the RM of Kindersley, confirmed that the municipality did not have a fire ban in place as of Monday. She said things could change, so residents should check rmofkindersley.ca for updates.
© Kindersley Clarion