Arid situations drive town of Edmonton to difficulty counties, fireplace restrictions and bans
Arid conditions have sparked a restriction issued by Edmonton Fire Rescue Services (EFRS) banning open burning and fireworks in the city.
The decision was based on the Fire Weather Index (FWI) as well as the “progressive greening of vegetation” which is still pending, according to a press release from the city of Edmonton on late Friday.
The fire weather index shows the overall risk of fire and takes into account weather data such as temperature, humidity, wind speed and precipitation. On Friday, the FWI was rated high for Edmonton.
“Backyard fire pits and recreational stoves are allowed in parks, provided they are used with caution. Backyard fire pits must meet all the requirements of the fire place regulations, ”the message says.
“In early spring, there is an increased risk in natural areas and great caution is advised when using these areas. Carelessly discarded smoking material can have devastating effects in these dry conditions. “
Compliance will take precedence over enforcement. However, anyone failing to comply could face fines or fees if there is a safety issue.
“If this spring continues to offer warm and dry conditions that lead to extreme FWI values, a fire ban can be introduced,” said the press release. “A fire ban would prohibit the use of backyard fires, park stoves, and barbecues using solid fuels such as wood and briquettes.”
The restriction will remain in effect until further notice and EFRS will continue to monitor the fire weather index.
Parkland County passed fire bans Thursday, while Leduc Counties, Lamont Counties, and Westlock Counties also all put fire restrictions in place.
Under a ban on fires, no outdoor fires are allowed, including screened fireplaces, barrels and incinerators, recreational fire pits, and charcoal briquettes.
Gas and propane devices such as grills, stoves and fireplaces are still allowed.
All fire permits will be suspended or canceled and no new fire permits will be issued during the ban.
Leduc County said a fire restriction was put in place due to the dry conditions to minimize the fire fighters’ risk of exposure to COVID-19.
Red Deer Counties, Lacombe Counties, Stettler Counties, Two Hills Counties, and Vermilion River Counties also have fire restrictions in place.
Additional guidance is provided for Athabasca County, Beaver County, Camrose County, the Edson Forest Area, Jasper National Park, Lac St. Anne County, Ponoka County, and the Rocky Mountain Forest Area.
Fire and fireworks permits are suspended based on a recommendation.
There are currently 12 forest fires burning in the forest reserve. Eight are under control, four have been handed over to those responsible.
Since March 1, the start of the Alberta fire season, there have been 60 forest fires in the forest reserve, burning a total of 47.32 acres.
The five-year average for this period is 67 forest fires burning just over 100 hectares.