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.

Just Posted

Air Canada reviewing how crew left passenger on parked plane

Air Canada said Sunday it’s looking into how crew members could have… Continue reading

New technology helps search teams find people in wilderness

HONOLULU — Yesenia D’Alessandro loaded a GPS tracking app on her cellphone… Continue reading

Senior Facebook executive says it would favour regulation

LONDON — A senior Facebook executive says the social media site is… Continue reading

Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques set to return after more than six months in space

LONGUEUIL, Que. — David Saint-Jacques is set to return to Earth on… Continue reading

Ham radio operators in central Alberta tune in

Amateur radio enthusiasts in central Alberta tuned in for the weekend. Central… Continue reading

WATCH: Hundreds run in the 5K Foam Fest in Red Deer

The annual event took place at Heritage Ranch on Saturday

Flying Wallendas safely cross Times Square on high wire

NEW YORK — Two siblings from the famed Flying Wallendas safely crossed… Continue reading

UK: Police visit incident dogs Johnson’s leadership campaign

LONDON — The leading contender to become Britain’s next prime minister is… Continue reading

Trump: ‘Surprise’ question about Pence led him to hesitate

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump says he hesitated when asked about endorsing… Continue reading

Indigenous drummers lead pipeline protesters on 22-kilometre march in Victoria

VICTORIA — The government approval of the Trans-Mountain pipeline expansion won’t stop… Continue reading

Retired UBC professor Peter Winterburn killed in Chile, school confirms

VALPARAISO, Chile — A retired geochemistry professor from the University of British… Continue reading

Sask. Premier Scott Moe participates in Pride parade in Saskatoon

SASKATOON — Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe participated in his first Pride parade… Continue reading

Parents of soldier killed in parachute exercise ask for thorough investigation

OTTAWA — The remains of the Canadian soldier killed in a parachute-training… Continue reading

Despite billions in new spending, Duclos still sees ‘affordability’ gaps

OTTAWA — Despite billions of dollars in new spending over the last… Continue reading

Most Read