Mountain View County issues fire ban
Mountain View County issued a total fire ban last Tuesday, which will be in effect until further notice.
“All fire permits issued are now void and no new fire permits will be issued until the fire ban has been lifted,” said Tony Martens, Mountain View County CAO.
The ban has been put in place due to dry conditions, high fire hazard levels and an increased level of grass fires within the County boundaries.
“All outdoor fires presently burning must be extinguished and the lighting of any outdoor fires is prohibited The ban includes fireworks and burning barrels.”
The only exceptions are internal household fireplaces, and fires contained in cooking and heating appliances fuelled by fluid or gas, such as barbecues.
This season’s dry conditions have already caused grass fires within county boundaries.
For example, a grass fire burned 20 acres west of Sundre, destroying about 200 eight- to 10-year-old spruce trees and some fencing.
“The fire was started along the east side of Range Road 6.2, the heavily travelled access to the Molmac subdivision,” said Ken Stauffer, owner of the property where the fire occurred.
“The location of the initial fire and timing at 6:15 p.m., as the sun was low in the sky, indicates it was most likely caused by a carelessly discarded cigarette into the very dry grass in the ditch.”
According to Stauffer, Sundre Fire Department was able to extinguish the grass fire with the help of residents just before it entered the 80 acres of mature spruce forest surrounding the 10 homes in the Cougar Creek subdivision.
“The quick response averted a major disaster,” said Stauffer.
In 2011, the county’s first total fire ban was issued on May 18.