Dry conditions spark warning about outdoor burning

Kootenay Boundary Regional Fire Service responded to a lawn burning that got away from a Fruitvale homeowner.

Spring hasn’t officially sprung, yet regional fire crews have already been called to douse a backyard grass fire.

Fire Chief Terry Martin is reminding the public to be diligent if burning debris is part of spring clean-up this year. For those allowed to burn, he said to ensure enough people, water and tools are on hand to control the fire and prevent it from escaping.

At the beginning of March, a Fruitvale homeowner was burning off some dead field grass when a gust of wind spread the fire.

The resident was able to control the flames until Kootenay Boundary Regional Fire Rescue was on scene, which helped contain the fire to a small area, Martin explained.

“Our area has experienced some remarkable conditions for quite some time now, causing the conditions to be extremely dry.” he said. “With the extended forecast showing little precipitation, we must all be careful during this run of early spring conditions.”

The unseasonably mild temperatures, and low relative humidity had the Southeast Fire Centre issuing a similar message Friday.

Warm temperatures and rapid snow melt uncovers dried grass from last summer, which is highly flammable material that can easily spark a wildfire. Almost all wildfires this time of year are caused by people, prompting the centre to ask all residents to exercise caution with any outdoor burning activities due to the increased risk in the region.

Residential property owners in Area A and Area B are governed by the centre’s open burning policy which allows small fires of twigs, grass leaves and other combustible materials.

Where open burns are allowed, residents are advised to first check the venting conditions, which is a term used in air pollution meteorology, on the Environment Canada website.

If the rating is poor or fair, then open burning is restricted. According to the centre’s Castlegar-based office Monday, the venting index in the region is poor, measuring 11 on a scale of zero to 33.

The City of Trail and Village of Fruitvale have a year-round ban on open burning, while the Village of Warfield does not require permits for open burning from Nov. 1 to April 30.

Rossland allows the practise with a special burning permit that passes the current smoke ventilation index.

Besides raking and gathering compost earlier than usual, certain residents may also be getting the itch to start their backyard pool clean-up.

Warfield residents with private swimming pools should take note of the village’s updated bylaw regarding the enclosure requirements.

What’s changed, is that fences cannot have openings greater than 10 centimetres (cm).

Additionally, any gate in the fence can have no openings in it, and the space between the gate and fence cannot be greater than 10 cm when closed.

The enclosure height, which is a minimum of 1.2 metres, remains unchanged.

The City of Trail’s building bylaw requires private pools be enclosed with a secure fence not less than 1.5 metres and openings no greater than five cm.

The rules apply to both underground and portable pools, with the latter dependent upon size and depth.

For further information about private pool regulations in Trail, visit trail.ca and click on Building Bylaw.

Just Posted

Climate change warnings based on science

Letter to the Editor from Jos Sharp of Trail

Kootenay Boundary hospital addresses construction woes

Ground broke on the project last month, and has since caused access and traffic problems at KBRH

Christmas Raffle, Helping Seniors for 18 years

Draw is Dec. 17; Tickets for the 18th annual raffle are available in the lobby of the Trail hospital

Stolen sax, sheet music, impacts Trail big-band and after school band

Anyone with information is urged to call the Trail RCMP detachment at 250.364.2566

Extensive road repair nears completion in Fruitvale

The scope of work includes new water and sewer service connections as well as road resurfacing

VIDEO: E. coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce sickens 18 people in Ontario, Quebec

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency says it’s working with U.S. authorities to determine the source of the romaine lettuce those who got ill were exposed to.

B.C. sees biggest spike in homicides across Canada, at 34%

Much of the killing was attributed to gang violence, according to Statistics Canada

Sea lion tangled in rope on Vancouver Island

Marine debris is a ‘significant problem’ for marine wildlife

Postal strike affects charities at critical fundraising time

Canadian fundraising professionals and charities join call for fast resolution

$90,000 pen from space created by B.C man

The Space pen is made from a meteorite

Friendly falcon now in residence at Okanagan raptor rehab centre

A rare prairie falcon caught in Trail will spend the winter at the SORCO Raptor Rehab Centre

B.C. woman fined $2,300 for clocking 215 km/hr in Alberta

It’s the highest fine Alberta police have issued

Watchdog calls for probe into police board spending on former Victoria police chief

Police Complaint Commissioner says accountable and transparent review is in public interest

South Korean named Interpol president in blow to Russia

South Korea’s Kim Jong Yang was elected as Interpol’s president edging out a longtime veteran of Russia’s security services.

Most Read