The Bylaw Enforcement Officer for the Rural Municipality of Hanover says even though we received some precipitation last weekend, there is still a fire ban in effect.
"Nothing has been lifted, even with the small amount of rain, little bit of snow that we did obtain," says Brian Brunelle. "Conditions out there are still very, very dry. The winds as you can see even today are gusting over 50 kilometres per hour so that's not letting up."
Brunelle says because there is a fire ban currently in place in Hanover, anyone wishing to burn must obtain a burning permit prior to starting a fire. But he says a permit will only be authorized if conditions are favourable and never when winds exceed 32 km/h. Brunelle says even a wiener roast in an enclosed pit, surrounded by dirt is right now illegal.
Anyone caught burning without a permit is subject to a fine as high as $1000 for breaching Hanover's Fire Prevention and Emergency Services Bylaw. But Brunelle says that same person can also be fined under the Provincial Wildfires Act where there is no limit on fine amounts. Under this Provincial Act there can also be further penalties and costs imposed by the courts.
Brunelle says the last couple of weeks have been extremely busy but he commends the work of local firefighters who are willing to drop what they're doing at a moment's notice when the page comes down. Brunelle notes there are a lot of people inquiring about the fire ban, questioning whether or not it is still in place. But Brunelle says he has also been issuing fines. One fine was handed to a farmer Wednesday who decided to burn wooden stumps in wind gusts of 50 km/h.
Brunelle says there will be notification once the fire ban is lifted.