By Jamie Rieger
County of Forty Mile council continues to grapple with the issue of fire permits, a hot item on their March 8 agenda.
Council discussed the year-round fire permit, as well as going back to the seasonal permit system and regulations that are mandated by the provincial government.
“We’re becoming the fire police,” said reeve Bryne Lengyel. “It’s all getting downloaded to us from the province.”
Discussion surrounded around people in the county burning material that is deemed illegal under provincial law.
“It’s not up to us to do (Alberta) Environment’s job,” said Coun. Craig Widmer. “This is getting out of hand. We need to go back to having the permits in the summer like before.”
“We’re penalizing the little guy burning household material,” added Coun. Gerald Reimer.
Part of the problem is in people taking out fire permits, but burning material that is not permitted.
“We do get burning in incinerators and there is horrible black smoke sometimes,” said Lengyel. “People have to use common sense.”
Coun. Reimer agreed.
“People have to take responsibility for their own actions,” he said.
County fire guardians are not allowed to issue fire permits if they are aware that illegal material will be burned.
“If we have an open, dry winter, we can still put bans on,” said Coun. Steve Wikkerink.
Council agreed to have Brown draft amendments to the County’s fire permit bylaw.