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Cranbrook Fire Chief Warns of Current and Upcoming Burning Regulations

The Director of Cranbrook Fire and Emergency Services is clarifying that no burning is currently permitted in the immediate or rural Cranbrook area after firefighters responded to several complaints over the Easter long weekend.

Scott Driver told MyEastKootenayNow.com that Cranbrook was included in the Ministry of Environment’s Open Burning Restrictions on March 26th for High Smoke Sensitivity Zones. Driver said that seeing as COVID-19 is a respiratory disorder, the Ministry didn’t want to put any additional strain on the health care system, which is the burning ban was put in place.

More: Open Burning Restrictions Issued for all High Smoke Sensitivity Zones (B.C. Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Canada)

As of Thursday, April 16th, all Category 2 and Category 3 fires will be prohibited by the Ministry of Forests across all of British Columbia.

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“There’s been no fires allowed in the rural area around Cranbrook or inside the City specifically for the last number of weeks, and late last week the Ministry of Forests put out a province-wide burn ban starting on the 16th,” clarified Driver. “Basically there’s no gap, there’s no window of opportunity where burning is allowed at this time.”

More: Category 2 & 3 Fires Prohibited Province-Wide April 16th (April 8, 2020) https://www.myeastkootenaynow.com/6515/category-2-3-fires-prohibited-province-wide-april-16th/

Driver said that despite the restrictions, they still were out responding to calls of local burns happening over the Easter weekend.

“We were kind of running all over the City and our Fire Protection Area, responding to complaints and fires that have escaped their containment lines,” Driver told MyEastKootenayNow.com. “As a result of these burn bans and the confusion that’s around them, what I will say, is in our effort to clear up the confusion is that there is no burning allowed in Cranbrook or the rural areas other than campfires at this time.”

Clarifying that all open fires, other than campfires will be banned across all of B.C. as of Thursday, Driver is encouraging property-owners that have the time to beginning preparing their homes for the upcoming wildfire season.

“Unfortunately, but fortunately this year, there’s a lot of people with quite a bit of time on their hands so we’re really encouraging people to get out and FireSmart their properties.”

Driver offered the following tips for people to ensure their home is protected from wildfires:

  • Clear the areas immediately around homes from fuel and vegetation that can burn
  • Moving woodpiles adjacent to the home or structures should be moved away from the property
  • Pruning trees up to a six-foot or eight-foot height to reduce ladder fuels
  • Reduce long grasses or continuous fuel that comes from the forest right up to the structures
  • As burning the fuels isn’t an option, take all removed fuels to the Cranbrook Transfer Station, abiding by their rules

More: British Columbia FireSmart (B.C. Wildfire Service)

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