Lacombe County rejects year-round fire permits

A proposal to bring in year-round fire permits was doused by Lacombe County council on Thursday.

A proposal to bring in year-round fire permits was doused by Lacombe County council on Thursday.

Fire permits have always been required from April 1 to Oct. 31, the time of year when any problems with runaway fires are most likely.

During the rest of the year, farmers and other landowners could burn their brush piles without a permit.

Keith Boras, the county’s manager of environmental and protective services, said requiring year-round permits allows the county to better track brush burns and work with landowners to ensure they know their responsibilities and brush is dry enough for effective burning.

As part of the permit, those planning to burn a brush pile larger than 10,000-square feet would require an inspection before lighting it up.

One of the problems with the current system is there is little county involvement when fire permits are issued, which come through a new automated online system.

County volunteer firefighters were called out to several costly brush fires this year that might have been avoided if the county had been able to check the brush pile ahead of time.

“I think we probably could have prevented some of them,” Boras said.

In Central Alberta, both Stettler and Red Deer Counties have year-round fire permitting and Ponoka County is considering it.

The proposal, which is supported by the county’s fire chief, ignited a lengthy debate around the council table.

Several councillors said rural residents don’t need more regulations to follow.

“I’m sorry, I’m against this stuff. It’s just more regulation,” said Reeve Paula Law.

Coun. Brenda Knight said in a dry winter, such as the last one where there was little snow cover, the county could reduce fire risks by introducing a fire ban as it does during dry summer periods.

Coun. Barb Shepherd said “safety is paramount.

“To me, it just makes sense to have a year-round permitting process.”

The vote to approve year-round permits narrowly lost with Law and councillors Knight, Rod McDermand and Dana Kreil against.

pcowley@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Central Alberta skiers, snowboarders thrilled for start of season

Central Alberta skiers and snowboarders are finally able to hit the slopes,… Continue reading

CN conductors’ union gives 72-hour strike notice as talks continue

TORONTO — Canadian National Railways conductors, trainpersons and yardpersons have given strike… Continue reading

Auto insurance to climb for central Alberta motorists

It’s going to be tough on many businesses, says local courier company owner

Canada’s Salvation Army testing out quicker tap-and-go option at kettle stations

TORONTO — Canada’s Salvation Army is testing out a new and faster… Continue reading

Father fights with private school over alleged bullying among 7-year-old girls

TORONTO — A Toronto father alleges in a lawsuit filed against Havergal… Continue reading

Your community calendar

Wednesday Pain 101 class — learn to take control of your chronic… Continue reading

Man, 66 struck and killed by vehicle in Regina intersection

REGINA — Police in Regina say a 66-year-old man is dead after… Continue reading

Homicide unit investigating after body found in burned SUV in Abbotsford, B.C.

ABBOTSFORD, B.C. — Homicide detectives have been handed the case after police… Continue reading

No winning ticket for Friday night’s $25 million Lotto Max jackpot

TORONTO — There was no winning ticket for the $25 million jackpot… Continue reading

Abortions rights advocates urge Liberals to turn politics into policy

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau campaigned for re-election on a promise… Continue reading

Impeachment testimony comes from White House budget official

WASHINGTON — House impeachment investigators met in private Saturday with a White… Continue reading

Football brings some peace to Sioux family after suicide

VERMILLION, S.D. — Teenagers Jashawn and Jayton Pease embraced in the end… Continue reading

St. Mark’s Square reopens in Venice, but water remains high

VENICE, Italy — Tourists and residents were allowed back into St. Mark’s… Continue reading

Most Read