As of this morning, (Tuesday, Aug. 16th) Wheatland County is under a fire ban. The county joins a number of other jurisdictions like Rocky View County, Vulcan County, and Cypress County who have all issued fire bans during extreme heat temperatures across Southern Alberta.
Michael Bourgone, Wheatland County Fire Chief and Manager of Emergency and Fire Services explained that the restriction means no open burning is permitted.
Right now is a peak time for grass fires, “It's not necessarily always at this time of the year, but right now it's dry. We haven't had rain in quite some time, and there's nothing in the forecast, so our grass is really starting to dry out. You can see really it's browning up, any high winds can obviously take a grass fire and turn it into something quite major, quite large, so we just want to be proactive and make sure that our residents are safe and our homes are protected,” said Bourgone.
Bourgone asked residents and visitors to the county to follow the fire ban restrictions and be safe. If you’re smoking, be sure to put out cigarettes, when using equipment for example, like farming equipment or quads make sure they are operating properly so they’re not starting fires behind them, and for people to be vigilant about their surroundings. And to be aware and understand that if there is a fire it could grow and become something very large, very quickly.
Fortunately, Wheatland County firefighters have not had to attend to any major grass fires this year.
“Again, we're trying to stay on top of it to ensure that we don't,” said the chief.
Details on the fire ban and what is or isn’t permitted can be found on the Wheatland County website.
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