In February of 2011, the County of Minburn Council passed a new bylaw named the “Burning Bylaw”. This new bylaw states that fire permits will be required for the entire calendar year, January 1st to December 31st. A fire permit must be obtained before conducting a controlled burn. Fire permits are now available online, from the County of Minburn Administration Office, the Agricultural Services Board or by contacting your County Councillor. There is no fee for a fire permit. Fire permits do not apply to outdoor fires which have been lit for cooking or warming purposes (camp fires).
In most cases, fire permits are issued for a two-week period which allows the permit holder a window to complete the burn when weather conditions are suitable. If the permit holder is not able to complete the burn during the time noted on the permit a new permit will be issued.
A fire permit may be suspended or cancelled at any time by the County of Minburn or the Minister responsible for enforcing the Forest and Prairie Protection Act. The fire permit holder will be notified via telephone if the fire permit has been cancelled. Upon receiving notice of cancellation, the person concerned shall immediately extinguish any fire set pursuant to the person’s permit.
Please keep your fire permit on your person or in your vehicle while conducting a controlled burn and be prepared to produce this legal document to fire personnel or the RCMP upon request.
Individuals not obtaining a fire permit will be invoiced at full cost when Fire Departments are called in to respond to fires within the County of Minburn No.27. Violators will be prosecuted under authority of the Forest and Prairie Protection Act of Alberta.
It is important to contact the local fire department (Vegreville, Innisfree or Mannville) before conducting your burn. The contact telephone number will be noted on your fire permit. In the case of the Innisfree Fire Department and the Mannville Fire Department, please leave a message on their answering machine which is checked daily during the fire season.
A list of burning guidelines will be noted on the fire permit issued. These guidelines will ask that you burn safely during calm weather only. The fire permit holder must ensure the fire is attended and supervised at all times until completely extinguished. Proper fire guards (black soil) should be made around the burn site using a heavy disc or other suitable farm equipment before the burn is completed. The fire guards should be a width of at least 15 meters.
Where the debris is a result of land clearing operations, the resulting debris should be windrowed in not more than 60 m lengths with an 8 m break between each 60 meter length. Windrows should be seperated from other parallel windrows by not less than 15 meters. No windrow should be closer than 25 m to uncleared land or standing hazardous fuels. No person shall set more fires at one time than can be controlled by the people and equipment immediately available.
County residents are not allowed to burn the following items at any time:
- Animal manure
- pathological waste
- non-wooden material
- waste material from building or construction sites excluding wooden material not preserved
- combustible materials in automobile bodies
- rubber or plastic or anything containing or coated with rubber or plastic or similar substances
- used oil and preserved wood or wood products
STUBBLE BURNING WITHIN THE COUNTY OF MINBURN NO. 27
CONDITIONS AS PART OF THE COUNTY OF MINBURN FIRE PERMIT.
- Written confirmation of liability insurance for stubble burning will be required from the insurance agent or insurance company when a request for a fire permit to burn stubble is received from the landowner.
- The permittee is totally responsible for the safe control of the burning herein authorized.
- A minimum 50 foot cultivated fire guard is to be prepared (fire guard means an area around the proposed burn area where appropriate action has been taken to stop the spread of the fire to areas not meant to be burned).
- A minimum of two adults must be in attendance at all times during the burn period.
- A maximum of 40 acres is allowed to be burned in any one occurrence.
- Burning cannot occur unless winds are under 12km/hr in order not to endanger any adjacent property, and wind conditions must be such that any smoke emanating from the burn will not create a road or public hazard.
- Tractors and field implements capable of guarding the fire are to be in place at all times during the burn.
- If burning is authorized within a ½ mile of a provincial highway, the permittee must post smoke hazard signs available from Alberta Transportation.
- Burning permits should not be issued in the fall if it would leave the soil vulnerable to erosion.
- The permittee must notify the County Fire Chief at least 1 hour prior to burning.
- The permittee must abide by any regulations or conditions for stubble burning stated on the fire permit issued by The County of Minburn.
NOTE: “Stubble” means any harvested or unharvested herbaceous plants or plant parts, standing, spread or in swathed windrows grown on land.