Open fires will once again be permitted in the Northwest Fire Centre (NWFC) starting Sept. 7.
Category 2 and Category 3 fires will be allowed along with fireworks, firecrackers and sky lanterns. Those activities have been banned since late June due to hot and dry conditions.
“With recent precipitation and cooler temperatures the wildfire risk has been greatly reduced thereby allowing senior staff at the NWFC to rescind Category 2 and 3 open fires,” the fire centre stated in a Sept. 1 media release.
“The public is strongly encouraged to exercise caution with any outdoor burning and campfire use. It is the responsibility of the individual to ensure that burning is done in a safe and responsible manner in accordance with regulations.”
Category 2 fires include one or two burning piles with a maximum size of two metres high and three metres wide, or stubble or grass burning over an area less than 0.2 hectares. People planning Category 2 fires should create a vanguard around the fire and make sure they have access to enough pressurized water to extinguish the flames. The NWFC states that everyone should follow Open Burning Smoke Control Regulations and check the Ventilation Index.
The ban on Category 3 fires is also being rescinded on Sept. 7, meaning that the burning of one or more windrows, the burning of grass over an area of more than 0.2 hectares and any fire larger than two metres high and three metres wide. People planning to light a Category 3 fire first need to obtain a burn registration number by calling 1-888-797-1717.
“All Category 3 open fires must comply with the Environmental Management Act and the Open Burning Smoke Control Regulations. This requires individuals to check local venting conditions prior to lighting a fire and to understand all other obligations associated with these regulations,” the NWFC stated.
The Northwest Fire Centre lifted its ban on campfires on July 28.
To report a wildfire or an open burning violation, call *5555 on a cell phone or 1-800-663-5555 toll-free.