Lacombe County reminds ratepayers that fire permit season starts on March 1, 2019. In 2017, permit season was moved up a month – starting March 1 rather than April 1 – in response to changing environmental conditions, including drier spring conditions. Fire permit requests are free and easy to submit online, through the “myLacombeCounty” app and in person.
“This winter has not brought a lot of snow to Lacombe County and as a result, spring conditions will likely be drier. This was evident in 2018 as well, with an early fire ban put in place by the end of last April,” said Drayton Bussiere, Lacombe County Fire Chief. “Residents are also encouraged to check on any controlled burns performed outside of permit season, as larger burns can smoulder through the winter and reignite as it warms up. By complying with the fire permit process and by using safe burning practices, all Lacombe County residents can help us keep our County safe throughout the season.”
Burning without a fire permit can result in a hefty fine.
Under Lacombe County’s Fire Protection Policy, anyone found burning without a permit will be required to pay for the fire department response fees. A flat rate of $300 will be charged for responses to a fire when a person is in contravention of the Forest and Prairie Protection Act for failure to have a fire permit or any other provision of the Act and fire suppression is not required.
“It’s about public safety and burning responsibly,” said Bussiere. “Fire permits are free of charge and easy to obtain, yet we continue to have situations where people don’t take out a permit and can be charged under the bylaw, the intent here is not to generate revenue but to ensure the safety of all Lacombe County residents and their neighbours.”
The past several years have seen many producers brush lands and burn the brush during the winter months. It is very important to remember to check these piles as they can smoulder for many months, and can be rekindled by wind. Combine this with dry spring conditions and the resulting fires can be disastrous.
Fires that are started by rekindled brush piles are your responsibility and you can also be charged for the fire response. Should a Fire Department respond to a fire for which a permit has not been issued, or if a permit has been issued and the permit holder contravenes any of the conditions of the permit, the property owner will be assessed costs at the following rates:
- fire truck - $500 per hour
- water truck - $300 per hour
- rapid response unit/mini pumper - $300 per hour
- equipment van - $300 per hour
- equipment other than fire apparatus – Lacombe County cost
- personnel other than fire department members - Lacombe County cost
Beginning on March 1, 2019, online fire permits can be submitted from the Lacombe County website homepage (www.lacombecounty.com), and through the “my Lacombe County” app (Apple users). People are also able to request permits in person at the Lacombe County Office, or by calling 403-782-8959.
For more information, please contact: