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County reviewing fire permit policy; first reading passed

Posted on May 19, 2015 by 40 Mile Commentator

By Jamie Rieger

County of Forty Mile councilors, at their May 13 county municipal meeting, passed first reading of amendments to their fire prevention and control bylaw. The amendments include changes to various definitions, including ‘burnable debris,  and ‘fire ban declaration’, and word changes throughout the document.
“I think we need to look at requiring fire permits year round and also look at putting up signs at every entry into the county,” said reeve, Bryne Lengyel.
Councilor Craig Widmer suggested they find out the policies of neighbouring counties as in some cases, a landowner may have property that lies in two jurisdictions.
While council primarily discussed the issuance of fire permits and the responsibilities involved for the permit holder.
Section 4 of the bylaw – Powers of Fire Guardians combines two items into one item that gives authority to a fire guardian to suspend or cancel a fire permit and the permit holder must immediately extinguish any fire set pursuant to the permit.
Section 6 – Fire bans is a new item included in the bylaw. It reads, “Where conditions exist, the County fire chief or delegate shall be empowered to declare a fire restriction suspending all structural fires and outdoor fires within all or a portion or portions of the Muncipal District for sucha a period of time and on such conditions as may be determined by the fire chief or delegate.”
“For every permit that (we) give out, we always tell them to make sure they do something to ensure the fire does not get away, whether it is with a disc or a water truck,” said fire chief, Nathan Cote. “If a fire does get away and the fire department is called, it could mean a fine of $120 per unit per hour and the opportunity for a fine.”
Reeve Bryne Lengyel made it all plain and simple.
“If you can’t get a permit, you can’t light a fire,” said Lengyel.
Cote added he does give out the permits to cover three days to allow for days when the “conditions” may not be right for burning.
Fire permits can be obtained from the following fire guardians:
Nathan Cote, county fire chief: 403-647-7675
Dale Brown, county administrator or  Lynn Gessner, steno, at the county office: 403-867-3530
Eric Bianchi (Aden district): 403-344-4437
Kelly Byam (Bow Island district): 403-502-1231
Dave Harrison (Burdett district): 403-647-7219
Stacy Harty (Etzikom district): 403-952-0385
Travis Hougen (Foremost district): 403-647-1005
Jason Waldner (Kings Lake district): 403-867-2268
Nevin Heidinger (Manyberries district): 403-502-4953
Melvin Reimer (Pendant d-Orielle district): 403-868-2004

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