ABOVE: On April 7, Dalmeny Fire and Rescue, along with Martensville Fire Department responded to a large fire north of Dalmeny. (Facebook)
On April 7, a fire ban was implemented for the Rural Municipality of Corman Park, which does not allow for any open flame fires to be lit until the ban is lifted. “All fires within the R.M. are banned. This requires all outdoor fires presently burning to be extinguished and the lighting of any outdoor fires is prohibited. This ban includes fire pits, burning barrels, controlled burns, and fireworks, with the only exceptions being internal household fireplaces and gas fueled equipment such as a propane barbeque or propane fire out,” Corman Park Police Service stated via social media.
While the fire ban does cover the area surrounding Martensville, it does not include the City itself, although Martensville Fire Department Deputy Chief Dean Brooman reminds residents to be cautious and utilize common sense this time of year when things are quite dry.
Recently, the Martensville Fire Department (MFD) have responded to two calls to help with fires – one near Langham and one in the Dalmeny area on April 7. “It is quite dry this time of year, so even though the fire ban is not in place in Martensville, it is still dry here too, so we just ask that the community be mindful and keep themselves and each other safe,” Brooman said.
Some tips to note are that firepits are required to be contained within a non-combustible receptacle made of cement, brick or sheet metal and must be covered with a screen cover, with openings no larger than 13mm. “This helps prevent sparks from flying out and getting into areas they shouldn’t be,” Brooman noted. Also, residents are prohibited from burning rubbish, leaves, or any other material that can produce black smoke or odor. “We ask that outdoor fires be supervised at all times, and that if it is a windy day or night, that you avoid having a fire.”
With fireworks, Brooman reminds residents to abide by the law and ensure that only those 18+ are using them, and to be respectful of your surroundings and avoid being a nuisance to others. “Fireworks are permitted; however, not in public spaces, unless you get a permit from the City. Ensure you follow the directions properly and again, use common sense when the conditions are dry. You would be surprised at how a spark from a fireworks display might cause some further damage,” Brooman said.
Brooman also recommends taking some time to ensure your barbeque is in proper working order and that there are no loose connections or leaks. Also, ensure that your propane tank is in proper condition and when you are finished cooking, turn off the tank. “It is a good practice to make sure that your tank is turned off and that way if there are any leaks or anything happens, a bad situation can be avoided. We have had the occasional fire through our spring and summer season because of that.”
Cigarette disposal this time of year is also a concern, and Brooman noted that there are several calls every year due to incorrect disposal of cigarette butts. “Ensure you have a proper device to extinguish your cigarettes. Don’t put them near your house, don’t put them in flowerpots, coffee cans or anything like that because when the wind picks up, it can rekindle the cigarette which can start a fire and advance onto your deck or home.” Brooman also added to avoid throwing cigarettes out of your window when driving to help prevent grass fires.
Proper storage of wood is also key to ensure safety, which means avoiding piling wood against your home or garage and keeping it in a secured area. No more than one cord shall be stored on residential property.
Although there is currently no bylaw for fire lanterns, Brooman stated that the MFD would like to see people avoid utilizing them during dry season. “Those lanterns ascend into the sky and have 4 to 5 minutes of flight time before they descend and land, which could be onto a grassy area, or someone’s backyard and cause a fire. We just ask that everyone be mindful of the conditions.”
As a reminder to the public, Brooman advised that while spring cleaning this year, ensure your house numbers are in good shape and easily visible from the road. “This is what we rely on during emergency calls to locate your house and ensure we are going to the right address, particularly during medical calls.”
The City of Martensville does have a fire bylaw in place, which includes all information that residents need to know when it comes to backyard firepits, wood piles, barbeques, fireworks and more. This can be found at www.martensville.ca – City Hall – City Bylaws – Fire Prevention Bylaw.