As of Aug. 2, a fire advisory is in effect for both the city of Chestermere and Rocky View County.
“There has been a fire advisory [for Chestermere] in effect since May. We felt it was best so residents have heightened awareness,” said Chestermere Fire Chief Brian Pomrenke.
Exceptions for what to burn during a fire advisory include having open fire permits, using propane, natural gas, or charcoal briquette barbeques, using an indoor fireplace, using an outdoor fireplace, using a chimenea, a fournos oven, using city owned fire pits, and using back yard fire pits.
Families are still able to have fires in their back yards during a fire advisory but are asked to be aware of the height of the flame, use all safety precautions while maintaining the fire, and to distinguish the fire properly when done Pomrenke said.
Keeping a fire to the regulation size that does not exceed one metre at the widest point, does not have walls that exceed 0.75 metre’s in height and is at least four metres from any building is crucial for managing a back-yard fire in a responsible way, Pomrenke said.
He added to avoid lighting fires on windy days or nights, and to use a protective spark arrestor mesh screen on the fire pit to ensure embers don’t fly into neighbour’s yards, which is considered an irritant, and can potentially cause a grass fire.
If a protective screen is not used during the time of a fire, a potential fine will be issued to residents.
“At end of night after your done enjoying the fire douse the fire in water,” Pomrenke added, “If you light a fire you are responsible.”
Chestermere has had a relative wet summer; however, Rocky View County has had grass fires potentially from cigarettes being tossed out of vehicle windows, Pomrenke said.
The Chestermere Fire Department is trying to educate residents on proper techniques to dispose of used cigarettes, which doesn’t include putting cigarettes into plant pots, Pomrenke added.
Pomrenke said in order to place a fire ban the Chestermere fire department has to take into consideration the history of the site, the heat value each day, and precipitation.
He added, Chestermere Public Works is constantly maintaining the ditch lines around the city, not only for aesthetic reasons, but also to prevent grass fires from happening.
“We have a high community standard,” Pomrenke added, “Enjoy the fire. Having fires enhances the community experience.”
For additional information regarding what is allowed to burn during a fire advisory visit the city of Chestermere website at http://chestermere.ca/331/Fire-Bans-Burning-Regulations, or to keep updated on the fire advisory status visit the Rocky View County website at https://www.rockyview.ca/CountyServices/FireEmergency/FireBans.aspx