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County issues numerous fines following recently implemented county-wide fire restriction

The County of Grande Prairie has issued the first fines related to fire restriction violations following the recent upgrade from Fire Advisory to Fire Restriction for the region on April 9th.

Officials say they are urging all residents and visitors to strictly adhere to current restrictions which include burn permit requirements and avoiding burning when winds reach speeds more than 12 kilometres per hour.

The recent fines were related to burning activities such as burning without a permit and leaving fire pits unattended. The county is reminding residents who choose to burn that even with a permit, no fires are permitted when winds are more than 12 kilometers per hour. Over the past week, winds have reached speeds as high as 65 kilometres per hour.

“We are asking everyone to be vigilant, educate themselves on restrictions in the area, and help spread the word so we can prevent fires in these extremely dry conditions,” County Fire Chief Trevor Grant says.

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County Reeve Bob Marshall adds that the county has taken a completely preventative stance on wildfires heading into the warm season, and is now discouraging residents from burning at all whenever possible.

“We really want to encourage people not to burn, be very cognisant of the hazards with things being as dry and windy as they are, and we really want to minimize the impact that has on the overall community,” he says. “If fires get out of control, we don’t want to end up where we were last year.”

The county says they are actively communicating with existing permit holders and anyone with inquiries regarding the restriction is asked to contact the county fire service online or by phone at (780)-532-9727.

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