Applications for Large Brush Pile Fire Permits to Close March 21

Due to current conditions, including a lack of snowpack, there is an increased risk of grass/wildland fires. As a result, applications for large brush pile fire permits will not be accepted after March 21. Typically, residents can apply for large brush pile fire permits until March 31.

Current permit holders can burn until March 31, 2024. 

About Large Brush Pile Fire Permits

Property owners who wish to burn large brush piles must have a valid fire permit. Most years, Sturgeon County issues these fire permits between Dec. 1 and March 31. Before issuing a permit, Emergency Services staff inspect the site to make sure safety conditions are met and to educate property owners of their responsibilities.

The permits are valid for piles larger than 12 feet long by 12 feet wide by six feet high. The permits are valid for 30 days or until March 31 (whichever comes first). These permits are not issued in hamlets or multi-lot subdivisions.

Large Brush Pile Re-Inspections

Each spring, Emergency Services reinspects large brush piles to reduce the risk of wildfire and protect public safety. Large brush piles can retain heat and continue to smoulder over the winter, even without visible smoke or flame. As the snow melts and the ground/vegetation starts to dry out, a smouldering brush pile can quickly ignite a fire.

If you received a fire permit to burn a large brush pile between Dec. 1 and March 31, Emergency Services will contact you to schedule an inspection. Emergency Services staff use thermal imaging cameras – which help detect heat – to make sure the large brush pile is fully extinguished. If a large brush pile is found to still be burning or smouldering, the staff member will work with the property owner/permit holder to have the pile fully extinguished.

Benefits of Re-Inspections

The County issues an average of 155 large brush pile permits each year.

In 2022, the County inspected 134 large brush piles that received fire permits between Dec. 1, 2021 and March 31, 2022. Eleven of those piles, or eight per cent, were still burning or smouldering at the time of inspection.

Since the Burning Bylaw was adopted in 2015, the County has seen a 59 per cent reduction in springtime outdoor fires.

#SturgeonCounty offices will be operating with reduced hours May 17, to accommodate a staff training event. Offices will re-open from 10:30 AM - 4:30 PM.

Fire Advisory: Due to dry conditions and a lack of precipitation, a fire advisory is now in effect for Sturgeon County as of April 3. 

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