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

PHOTOS: Red Deer College Queens host third annual Pink in the Rink game

The RDC Queens picked up an extra special victory on home ice… Continue reading

PHOTOS: The Mustard Seed CEO speaks at Seeds of Hope Gala in Red Deer

The first-ever Seeds of Hope Gala was held at the Red Deer… Continue reading

PHOTO: Renewable Energy Fair at Red Deer College

The Renewable Energy Fair and Workshops event was held at Red Deer… Continue reading

Person airlifted to hospital after collision near Innisfail

One person was airlifted to hospital after a serious collision west of… Continue reading

WATCH: Make-A-Wish grants Star Wars loving teen’s wish

The Make-A-Wish Foundation granted Anakin Suerink’s wish in Red Deer Saturday afternoon

Migrant caravan swells to 5,000, resumes advance toward US

CIUDAD HIDALGO, Mexico — Despite Mexican efforts to stop them at the… Continue reading

“I don’t feel real”: Mental stress mounting after Michael

PANAMA CITY, Fla. — Amy Cross has a hard time explaining the… Continue reading

Toronto residents set to vote Monday on the next four years of civic leaders

Toronto’s municipal election campaign, marked by unprecedented provincial interference, ends Monday when… Continue reading

Former PQ minister Lise Payette remembered as role model for female politicians

MONTREAL — Members from across Quebec’s political spectrum gathered at a downtown… Continue reading

Voters head to polls for BC municipal elections today, some complain of long lines

VANCOUVER — Voters in British Columbia are heading to the polls today… Continue reading

Kennedy Stewart named mayor of Vancouver; one of several B.C. turnovers

VANCOUVER — Former New Democrat MP Kennedy Stewart has won a neck-and-neck… Continue reading

‘In our bloodline:’ Land-based learning links curriculum with Indigenous culture

REGINA — A school day for six-year-old Hunter Sasakamoose can start with… Continue reading

‘Stupid’ law preventing Canada’s re-engagement with Iran: retired envoy

OTTAWA — The real reason the Liberal government hasn’t been able to… Continue reading

Most Read