Red Deer has issued a full city-wide fire ban in light of bone dry conditions and recent brush fires.
Fire marshal Dale Kelly said this is the first full fire ban in his 35 years at Red Deer Emergency Services.
That means no open fires in the city including backyard fire pits, fireworks and fires using charcoal, briquettes or wood in park areas. All existing open air fire permits are suspended.
Rule breakers may face a $610 response fee and a $210 ticket.
Kelly said the wind and the extremely dry conditions have sparked the ban.
“Now we are getting into the popular fuzz season so that burns very rapidly,” said Kelly. “We are certainly aware of the Fort McMurray situation and we are being proactive in ensuring we do not have any of the same issues here or reduce them.”
Certified portable propane or liquid fueled stoves, barbecues and fire pits designed for cooking or heating are permitted.
Kelly said many fires are started by individuals throwing them out a window or discarding them in plants.
“Don’t put your cigarette out in your plant pot because it is going to start on fire,” he said. “We have had one so far this year. We had five or six last year. So it is really important that you properly dispose of your smoking materials.”
He said tossing out on the side of the road into the dry grass can cause issues.
This ban will remain in effect until conditions change and further notice is given.
The province-wide fire ban was issued last week, which covers every area that is not identified as a municipality or a county. A temporary province-wide restriction on off-highway vehicle (OHV) recreational use on public lands remains in effect.