February 26, 2019
Fire Permit Season Begins March 1: Have you got yours?
Lacombe County reminds people that permit requests are free and easy to submit online, through the “myLacombeCounty” app and in person.
(Lacombe, Alberta, February 26, 2019) Lacombe County reminds ratepayers that fire permit season starts on March 1, 2019. In 2017, permit season was moved up a month – starting March 1 rather than April 1 – in response to changing environmental conditions, including drier spring conditions.
“This winter has not brought a lot of snow to Lacombe County and as a result, spring conditions will likely be drier. This was evident in 2018 as well, with an early fire ban put in place by the end of last April,” said Drayton Bussiere, Lacombe County Fire Chief. “Residents are also encouraged to check on any controlled burns performed outside of permit season, as larger burns can smolder through the winter and reignite as it warms up. By complying with the fire permit process and by using safe burning practices, all Lacombe County residents can help us keep our County safe throughout the season.”
Burning without a fire permit can result in a hefty fine.
Under Lacombe County’s Fire Protection Policy, anyone found burning without a permit will be required to pay for the fire department response fees. A flat rate of $300 will be charged for responses to a fire when a person is in contravention of the Forest and Prairie Protection Act for failure to have a fire permit or any other provision of the Act and fire suppression is not required.
“It’s about public safety and burning responsibly,” said Bussiere. “Fire permits are free of charge and easy to obtain, yet we continue to have situations where people don’t take out a permit and can be charged under the bylaw, the intent here is not to generate revenue but to ensure the safety of all Lacombe County residents and their neighbours.”
The past several years have seen many producers brush lands and burn the brush during the winter months. It is very important to remember to check these piles as they can smolder for many months, and can be rekindled by wind. Combine this with dry spring conditions and the resulting fires can be disastrous.
Fires that are started by rekindled brush piles are your responsibility and you can also be charged for the fire response. Should a Fire Department respond to a fire for which a permit has not been issued, or if a permit has been issued and the permit holder contravenes any of the conditions of the permit, the property owner will be assessed costs at the following rates:
• fire truck – $500 per hour
• water truck – $300 per hour
• rapid response unit/mini pumper – $300 per hour
• equipment van – $300 per hour
• equipment other than fire apparatus – Lacombe County cost
• personnel other than fire department members – Lacombe County cost
Beginning on March 1, 2019, online fire permits can be submitted from the Lacombe County website homepage (www.lacombecounty.com), and through the “my Lacombe County” app (Apple users). People are also able to request permits in person at the Lacombe County Office, or by calling 403-782-8959.
Frequently Asked Questions
When do you require a fire permit?
The Forest and Prairie Protection Act prohibits the lighting of an outdoor fire, excluding an attended outdoor camp fire which has been set for cooking or warming purposes, between March 1 and October 31 each year, on land in a permit area, unless the person is a holder of a subsisting fire permit.
The Forest and Prairie Protection Act states that no person shall:
- a) light an outdoor fire without first taking sufficient precautions to ensure that the fire can be kept under control at all times, or
- b) light an outdoor fire when weather conditions are conducive to a fire readily escaping out of control, or
- c) fail to take reasonable steps to control a fire for the purpose of preventing it from spreading unto land otherthan his own, or
- d) deposit, discard or leave any burning matter or substance in a place where it might ignite other matter andresult in a fire.
How can you obtain a permit?
Beginning on March 1, online fire permits can be submitted from the Lacombe County website homepage (www.lacombecounty.com) and from the new “my Lacombe County” app. Permits can also be requested in person at the Lacombe County Office, or by calling 403-782-8959.
What you need to know
In Lacombe County, fire permits are required during the fire season, which starts March 1st and ends October 31st each year, but can be extended if the risk or danger of wildfire exists.
Before lighting any fire, a permit holder must take precautions to ensure that the fire is kept under control at all times. The following rules apply to all permits issued in Lacombe County:
- A fire permit is valid only for the period that it is issued for.
- Upon issuing a permit, the County may specify any special fire control condition that, in their discretion, isimportant to the safety of the county residents.
- The fire must be set at the time and place indicated on the permit.
- The number of fires set at one time and minimum equipment needed may be specified on the permit.
- Anyone who sets a fire under the authority of a permit must:
o Have a the permit at the fire site
o Produce and show the permit to a County employee on request
o Keep the fire under control, and
o Extinguish the fire before expiration, or upon cancellation of the permit, or obtain a renewal.
What can you burn?
Burnable debris includes: Prohibited debris includes:
- Brush and fallen trees
- Used power and telephone poles that do notcontain preservatives
- Wood or wood products not containingpreservatives
- Solid waste from tree harvesting
- Straw, stubble, grass, weeds, leaves, and treeprunings
- Solid waste from post and pole operations thatdoes not contain wood preservatives
- Animal manure
- Pathological waste (waste from human healthcentres)
- Wood or wood products containing woodpreservatives
- Waste materials from construction sites
- Rubber, including tires
- Plastic, including baler twine
- Containers that held pesticides or any otherchemicals
- Plastic or rubber coated materials, includingcopper wire.
Special provisions for stubble burning
A Stubble Burning Permit is required throughout the year prior to burning the stubble or swath of any crop. A field inspection will be required prior to the issuance of a permit. Phone the Agricultural Fieldman at 782-8959 a few days in advance for inspection arrangements. Stubble Burning Permits may only be obtained at the County office from the Manager of Environmental and Protective Services or the Agricultural Fieldman
Remember to recycle
Many items that you may consider burning can be recycled: Plastics, paper, cardboard and metal materials, used oil, tires and beverage containers, along with many other items. Call the Recycle Info Line at 1-800-463-8320 for local information or visit the Lacombe Regional Waste Services Commission website (www.lrwsc.ca).
Corb Lund and A Night At The Ranch in support of Smiles Thru Lindsey Foundation
Corb Lund is a national treasure. A singer/songwriter from southern Alberta, he has released nine albums, three of which are certified gold. Lund tours regularly in Canada, the United States and Australia, and has received several awards in Canada and abroad.
A Night At The Ranch is an annual rodeo event hosted at The Daines Ranch near Penhold. So far $35,000.00 has been raised for charities.
Proceeds from the May 8th and 9th events will go to The Smiles Thru Lindsey Foundation.
We are so excited to announce that we will be having none other than Corb Lund perform LIVE for you at the Daines Ranch as part of his 2020 Canadian Tour! The performance will follow the Extreme Bronc Challenge at 4:30 PM on May 9th!
Tickets will be available February 14th, 2020 at 10:00 AM local time. You can get your tickets at www.nightattheranch.com or at the Innisfail Auction Market !
Proceeds will be donated to the Smiles Thru Lindsey Foundation
NIGHT AT THE RANCH
The Night at the Ranch Foundation has raised over $35,000 for local charities and hosts an annual event in May at the Daines Ranch in Innisfail, Alberta
XTREME BRONC MATCH
Rank horses and tough cowboys are the meat and potatoes of this event! C5 Rodeo brings their award winning roughstock so these cowboys can battle it out in the arena dirt for the cash prize!
CHARITY POKER TOURNAMENT
Angling and adventure greet our intrepid traveller on Padre Island
Now that harvest is over, maybe you’re considering a getaway.
By Gerry Feehan, award-winning travel writer and photographer. Here is his latest story, Padre Island, Texas.
“…I peaked through a stack of chili-flavoured pork rinds, past a battered flag of the Lone-Star State hanging in the dirty window, and into the parking lot. Smiley was staring storeward… waiting….”
Padre Island Texas is a long spit of sand dunes guarding mainland Texas from the destructive tornadoes and winter storms that pound in from the Gulf of Mexico. Between this narrow barrier island and the mainland lies Laguna Madre, a shallow hyper-saline sea renowned for sensitive sea grass and world-class fishing.
On some Padre Island beaches, camping is free. South of Corpus Christi, at Padre Island National Seashore, free boon-docking extends for over 100 kilometres. But the sandy entrance is also the only exit. So, after you bite off as much of the hard-packed seashore road as you can chew and you’ve had your fill of remote surf and turf, a tight U-turn and a long return drive up the beach is required to get back to civilization.
It was shoulder season, so we and our RV had the whole shoreline to ourselves.
The other campers were all outfitted for fishing. “When in Rome,” thought I and asked the park ranger if he knew of any local fishing guides.
The weather was atrocious: 3°C with a 70-kilometer north wind. Only a Canuckle-head would beach in such conditions; five meters from the raging ocean and sideways to a Gulf gale. The van was a rockin’ all night.
In the morning the weather cleared, the sun shone and the wind ebbed, portending a fine day on the Laguna Madre. We drove back across the causeway to the mainland, toward Arroyo City and a lovely campground along a canal fronting the ocean. We chose a site protected by live oak trees in case (heaven forbid) the weatherman’s prognostication was inaccurate and the wind began to howl anew. As per our typical MO, we arrived at dusk, sans reservation.
The other campers were all outfitted for fishing. “When in Rome,” thought I and asked the park ranger if he knew of any local fishing guides.
“No, I sure don’t,” he said. “Y’all could check with the live-bait store back in town. Look for the big sign – a redfish – out front. They may have a’ idea.” I asked Florence if she’d mind hanging solo for a day while I went angling. “No, go ahead. I’ll spend the day relaxing, reading and knitting.” I wandered down the road. When I saw red, I stepped in. The shop smelt. After baiting the proprietor with fishing small-talk, I asked, “Do you think you could find a guide to take me out tomorrow?”
“Well, I know of a fella lives right by,” he said, chewing uncertainly on a pork rind, “but it’s kind of late and I doubt he’d be available on short notice. I could call if you like.” He picked up the phone.
Five minutes later ‘Captain Smiley’ was walking in the door. He shook my hand and arrangements were made to tackle an early morning. The sun had not yet risen when the Captain putt-putted up to our riverfront campsite and welcomed me aboard. Minutes later, dawn greeted us as we cast our first lines into the shallow, glassy waters of Laguna Madre. A fat red drum hit on my second cast; a fighting day was upon us.
I had a great time with Smiley. Affirming his moniker, he laughed and joked all day long in his charismatic Tex-Mex accent.
The night before I had warned the Captain that I was short on greenbacks and would need to pay by cheque. He hesitantly agreed. When we arrived back at dock he expertly prepped my red-fish “on the half-shell” for grilling. Driving me back to our campsite he diverted his battered pick-up truck toward the bait shop. Pulling up he informed me that there was an ATM inside. Evidently he preferred cash to a cheque written on the reputable but foreign Royal Bank of Canada. I smiled, opened the door and headed into the store.
I had no bank card, just a US Visa. Uncertain if I could withdraw cash or whether my PIN# would work, I shoved the card in, chose English over Spanish as my language of preference and, after agreeing to an unreasonable fee for using the bank machine (“in addition to whatever other charges your financial institution may impose”). I prayed silently as I entered my personal security particulars. The machine sat quietly for a time, made some distant interior rumblings and eventually announced: “Request Declined.”
I peaked through a stack of chili-flavoured pork rinds, past a battered flag of the Lone-Star State hanging in the dirty window, and into the parking lot. Smiley was staring storeward… waiting.
I checked to see if there was a back exit. The wary owner eyed me suspiciously. The rear door led through a heap of fish offal into an alligator-infested swamp. Preferring embarrassment to an awful death, I thought I’d again ask the Captain if he would accept my cheque. I took a last baleful glance at the ATM and noticed a message: “maximum withdrawal $120.” I had requested too much dinero. I started the process anew, punched in my PIN, agreed to pay the usurious fees and crossed my fingers. The machine slowly spat six tattered twenties at me. A full day of guided fishing is not cheap. I repeated the process a few times. Eventually the tired machine coughed up enough cash to retire my piscatorial indebtedness.
I handed the dough to Smiley. He smiled and asked, “Do you want to fish tomorrow?” I couldn’t envisage enduring another ATM debacle and, in any event, it was time for us to move on from this arroyo.
“No thanks,” I said, “we need to hit the road tomorrow.”
“Aw, that’s too bad,” said Smiley. “Tomorrow’s my day off and what I do on my day off is… go fishing. I’ll take you out on my dime.”
I saw my calendar clearing.
I called Florence to ask leave. She concurred, delighted. (Apparently, one day away from her beloved was insufficient to create any overwhelming desire to be reunited in the confines of our small RV.)
I had another great “caught my limit” day of fishing. As I fried up a delicious speckled sea trout that night, Florence asked, “Are you going fishing again tomorrow?”
“Naw,” I said. “Smiley’s got a customer lined up for the morning.”
“Gee, that’s too bad,” she said, “this fish is incredible.” She was eyeing her knitting.
Hope you enjoyed your trip to Padre Island Texas. Gerry Feehan is an award-winning travel writer and photographer. He and his wife Florence live in Red Deer, AB and Kimberley, BC. You can read more of his stories here.
Read Gerry’s excellent tale – The Long Road to Texas. Click below.