Fire restriction issued in Edmonton as dry, blistering conditions ramp up – Edmonton Journal

Fire restriction issued in Edmonton as dry, blistering conditions ramp up - Edmonton Journal
Fire restrictions put in place for Edmonton
A fire restriction prohibiting open burning and fireworks has been issued in Edmonton as hot and dry conditions are poised to escalate throughout the week, say officials.

The restriction — not a full ban — was put in place by Edmonton Fire Rescue Services Monday afternoon based on the fire weather index, currently rated at extreme in the city.

The city said it is asking residents to comply with the restriction, rather than having to resort to enforcement. However, anyone who does not follow the restriction may be fined. The fine could also include the costs for emergency services, the city warned.

Edmonton fire restriction means no open burning, fireworks

The index is monitored daily and takes into account temperature, wind conditions, humidity and precipitation levels.

“The likelihood of a fast-moving fire on the top surface now is more likely, so we want to reduce the risk of that by putting the fire restriction in place, said Russell Croome, deputy fire chief. 

Backyard fire pits are still permitted, provided they meet bylaw requirements. Recreational cooking stoves in city parks can also still be used.

The restriction in Edmonton comes amid extremely dry conditions across the province. As of 10 a.m. Monday, there were 24 wildfires burning across Alberta, six of which were listed as out of control.

A more stringent fire ban may be implemented if conditions worsen — that would prohibit the use of backyard fire pits and cooking stoves, as well as barbecues using solid fuels such as wood and briquettes. Propane barbecues are still permitted during a ban.

The majority of northern Alberta remained under a fire ban on Monday. For a complete list of fire bans, restrictions and advisories in the province, visit Alberta Wildfire’s website.

Failure to comply with the fire restriction may be subject to fines or charges if there is a safety issue.

“We really need people to pay attention and take every effort to not carelessly discard cigarettes or any activities that are going to bring risk to yourself, your home and the community,” said Croome.

About 5,000 people have been out of their homes for a week due to an out-of-control wildfire that’s grown to 107,000 hectares in size south of High Level.

He said those living in homes backing onto the river valley or parks should keep “the undergrowth clear of a large accumulation of combustibles.

“Any time youre using recreational fire or recreational cooking, theres always a risk of embers flying, so take a look, said Croome. 

After a recreational fire, make sure it is out before you retire for the evening or for the day, and make sure you keep the fire within the confines of the container.

The restriction will remain in effect until further notice as the city monitors the fire weather index rating. Temperatures are expected to peak this week at 31 C Wednesday. There is no sight of rain in the next seven days, according to Environment Canada.

Edmonton Fire Rescue Services issued a fire restriction prohibiting open burning and fireworks that will remain in effect until further notice.

Backyard fire pits and recreational cook stoves are allowed, provided they are used with caution, the city said in an advisory Monday. Fire pits must meet requirements of the fire pit bylaw.

The decision to impose a restriction on open burning and fireworks was prompted by the fire weather index, which is currently rated at extreme, the city said.

The city said it will "emphasize compliance over enforcement," but said anyone who doesn't comply with the restriction may be subject to fines or charges if the activity causes a safety issue. Fines may include costs for emergency services.

Edmonton Fire Rescue Services will continue to monitor the fire weather index rating to determine necessary precautions, the city said.

A ban would prohibit the use of backyard fire pits, cooking stoves in parks, and barbecues using solid fuels such as wood and charcoal briquettes.

The City of Beaumont, south of Edmonton, issued a fire advisory Monday. All existing fire permits remain valid but no new ones will be issued.

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