By Justin Seward
Cypress County firefighters have had the task of dealing with the dryer than normal conditions this summer and now since a fire ban has been in place since July 28, preparation has become much more crucial to prevent a spark from spreading.
“All the personnel in Cypress County are ready to respond if need be,” said Cypress County’s emergency services supervisor and fire chief Kelly Meyer.
“We have the support from the farmers and ranchers when we need a water supply so we’re ready in the event we have an incident.”
He added that with water supply came assurance from the farmers and ranchers because they wanted to make sure their properties were protected as well as the adjacent residences.
The conditions allowed for the county residents to come forward and comply for fire restriction and according to Meyer are being very cautious.
Additionally the public is reminded to not throw their cigarettes out the window, make sure to report a fire when they see it and if there is equipment be operated near the dry grass to have a fire extinguisher nearby.
Meyer along with other fire station members have been monitoring the weather even as far as south of border for patterns to help prepare for a possible fire hazard.
The county firefighters have been informed how to be safe around the dry grass because the cure rate can be between 80 and 90 per cent or even higher to 100 per cent.
“That stuff is going to ignite quick especially with the wind we’ve been having,” said Meyer.
“These fires are going to start running on guys. I just tell them to stay on the burnt side, don’t put yourself in a situation, have your look outs, have good anchoring points and watch everybody’s back.”
Meanwhile, Alberta Parks declared Cypress Hills Provincial Park in a fire ban on July 31 as the park reached extreme levels of dryness.
No open fires and chracoal biquettes are allowed in the park.
However propane barbeques, stoves as well as gas firepits are permitted during the fure ban.