Quiet grassfire season
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.