As residents dust off their pruning shears to make way for new growth, the Terrace Fire Department is reminding the public not to burn any yard waste materials without a permit.
The department has responded to eight burn complaints during the first three months of 2018, and averages between 50 and 60 calls annually.
While the twigs, wood and leaves on the ground are still wet from the winter snowmelt and less likely to catch flame, John Klie, Terrace fire chief, said the risk of fires spreading rises as the weather warms up.
“It’s not too bad right now because if the fire gets away from them, the neighbours call us quick,” said Klie.
“But if it doesn’t rain and we get a hot spell… it could be a bad situation for us and a bad situation for them.”
The city’s fire prevention by-law states no burning is allowed whatsoever in the open air without first obtaining a written permit to do so. Those looking to get rid of their yard waste are advised to compost the materials or drop them off at the landfill.
“Sometimes people think that because we live up in the great white north in a rural area that it’s a natural thing to be able to burn in their backyards,” he said. “That’s why the city changed the bylaw 15 years ago because it was getting out of control.”
While the bylaw prevents the burning of waste materials without a permit, the requirements do not apply to small confined fires used for cooking food on grills, barbecues, or small fire pits.
Bottom line, said Klie: “No burning in your backyard unless you’re cooking hotdogs.”