With the opening of fire season this month, the County is reminding residents to follow safe burning practices when using outdoor fires to dispose of fallen branches and yard debris. 
 
Fire Marshal Ken Atamanchuk said that last year, County Regional Fire Service responded to three fires caused by inappropriate burn barrel usage.  
 
“In all three cases, safe burning practices were not followed resulting in damage to structures and vehicles,” added Atamanchuk.  
 
“Burn barrels and fire pits must be set up on a non-combustible surface measuring a minimum of 10 feet around, be located 100 feet away from trees and structures, be covered by a screen to contain drifting on-fire particles, and must be monitored at all times when lit,” said Atamanchuk.  
 
In all areas of the County, operating a burn barrel or a fire pit requires a fire permit for the entire year. New requests for these fire permits also involve a mandatory inspection by a fire guardian. A renewal request can be made in the years following, but only if the burn barrel or fire pit has not been replaced or moved.  
 
While winter burning brings the added protection of snow moisture, Atamanchuk cautioned that an extinguished burn pile may have smouldering underground embers, known as a hold-over fire, that could be reignited by spring winds when dry grasses are uncovered. 
 
To apply online for a free fire permit, residents can review the requirements and complete the application found at www.countygp.ab.ca/firepermits. County staff will forward the request to a fire guardian to conduct the inspection. Residents may also call County Regional Fire Service at 780-532-9727 to schedule an inspection to begin the permitting process.  
 
The website also includes a map outlining the County’s four fire burning areas – White, Yellow, Red, or Green – and their burning and permitting requirements.  

  • For residents who live in White or Yellow areas, an inspection is needed during fire season, March 1 to October 31. In the off-season, November 1- February 29, only verbal notification is required.  

  • Residents in the Red area or hamlets and subdivisions require a written fire permit year-round. 

  • The Green area is designated as the Forest Protection Area. Residents should contact Alberta Agriculture and Forestry to obtain a written permit from a Forestry Fire Guardian during fire season. 

Burning is not permitted once winds exceed 12 kilometres per hour. Burning household garbage is not permitted within hamlets or residential subdivisions. If a Fire Ban is issued, all burn permits will be void until the ban is lifted. Notifications will be made through the County’s website, social media channels and local media. For questions, contact County Regional Fire Service at 780-532-9727.  

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Media Contact: 

Ken Atamanchuk 
Fire Marshal 
780-532-9727