Quiet grass­fire sea­son

Vision (Canada) - - Actualites - News - GREGG CHAMBERLAIN gregg.chamberlain@eap.on.ca

Lo­cal fi­re­figh­ters are graf­te­ful they have not had to face this kind of grass­fire si­tua­tion yet this sum­mer. Des­pite a couple of fierce thun­ders­torms, the ove­rall wea­ther has been hot and dry, re­sul­ting in off-and-on burn bans. Re­si­dents should check with the fire de­part­ment on lo­cal condi­tions when ap­plying for open bur­ning per­mits. The hu­mi­dex is still pu­shing up the heat as the middle of Au­gust ap­proaches. But Cla­rence-Ro­ck­land’s fire chief is gra­te­ful to see that the sum­mer heat­wave has not meant a blaze of calls about grass fires in the area.

“No, we’ve been lu­cky,” said Chief Pierre Sa­bou­rin du­ring an in­ter­view on Aug. 8.

The en­tire Eas­tern On­ta­rio re­gion swel­te­red along with the rest of the pro­vince and much of the coun­try du­ring Ju­ly with just a few scat­te­red rain storms to pro­vide some tem­po­ra­ry re­lief from the heat. The Ci­ty of Cla­rence-Ro­ck­land, along with other com­mu­ni­ties, has had fire bans off and on du­ring the sum­mer, but Chief Sa­bou­rin no­ted that the sea­son has been ve­ry quiet for him and his people as far as any wild­fire wor­ries are concer­ned.

“There is a fire ban back in ef­fect again,” he said, ad­ding that the past few rains­torms have hel­ped keep things co­ol in the neigh­bou­ring woods and fields, but the re­tur­ning heat al­ways dries eve­ry­thing up again. “But we have been lu­cky.”

While the burn ban is back in ef­fect, the fire de­part­ment will still ac­cept ap­pli­ca­tions for bur­ning per­mits from re­si­dents. Those per­mits are good to the end of the year, but, Chief Sa­bou­rin no­ted, each per­mit ap­pro­ved al­so comes with a war­ning that when a burn ban is in ef­fect, there are no outdoor fires al­lo­wed, even if a per­son has a mu­ni­ci­pal bur­ning per­mit.

“To­day I got a call from a guy who wan­ted to burn stuff in a drum,” said Sa­bou­rin. “He was told he couldn’t, there was a burn ban on.”

Sa­bou­rin no­ted that the cal­ler did not argue the si­tua­tion, but ac­cep­ted that his plans for using a burn bar­rel were not suf­fi­cient to over­ride the ban. Any re­sident who wants in­for­ma­tion about ei­ther the burn ban or mu­ni­ci­pal bur­ning per­mits can contact the fire de­part­ment.

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