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County reminding residents about importance of fire safety

The County of Grande Prairie Fire Marshal is reminding residents across the region to closely follow safe burning practices if they’re looking to use outdoor fires to get rid of yard debris.

Ken Atamanchuk there are guidelines and recommendations for burning, especially when it comes to the use of burn barrels and fire pits, as they 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.

Atamanchuk says when those guidelines aren’t followed, it can very easily lead to a situation getting out of control.

“Unfortunately, last year we had around three incidents where guidelines weren’t met, it ended up starting a grass fire and damaging some structures and vehicles,” he says.

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“I’ve seen sheds burn down, vehicles get affected by it, especially in a dry season, it can lead into a large, large grassfire. Especially with a new burn barrel, we want you to give us a call to make sure those guidelines are met.”

Atamanchuk says as fire permits are required to operate a burn barrel or a fire pit anywhere in the County of Grande Prairie, the process of requesting a new annual permit can also lead to a good refresher course for fire safety. Each new permit request also comes with a mandatory inspection from a fire guardian.

“They’ll also give you some pointers on fire safety so it’s a great way all-around to make sure everyone is safe using burn barrels,” he adds.

You find out more information on fire permits and safety on the County of Grande Prairie website.

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