Fire guardians appointed one month early

Fire guardians appointed one month early

22 February 2006

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Alberta, Canada —  Sturgeon County council has had to take the unusual step to appoint its fire guardians one month earlier than normal.

Bart Clark, manager of emergency services, said the early appointments is just aprecaution.

“This is in anticipation of the Minister of Sustainable Resources deciding if the fire season should be started earlier,” Clarksaid.

In an average year, the fire season runs from April 1 to October 31. The last time a fire season was started early was in 2001.

The fire guardians include all county councillors, as well as Clark and 14 others, most who have done this for a number of years. 

The fire guardians approve and cancel fire permits and enforce orders.

With the above-average temperatures this winter and a lack of snow, Clark said the upcoming summer may be a fieryone.

“I am worried. With all the wind, this could be drastic. There is no surface moisture whatsoever. Everything is at its driest rightnow.”

Clark said that with erratic wind until the end of May, a fire that seems manageable can quickly become out ofcontrol.

“You cannot have safe fires with wind.”

If you are burning, Clark says to use a simple method to determine whether or not your fire is completelyextinguished.

“Put a metal rod in the ground, in the middle of the dead fire, and wait 10 minutes. If the rod is hot, you still have a fire. Peat moss fires can be there long after the fire is out.”


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