Burn ban lifted in time for Canada Day fireworks

SOUTH DUNDAS – Last week South Dundas was under its second burn ban of the season, one that has already been lifted.

Implemented June 24th the ban meant that no open air burning of any sort or permits for burning would be activated until conditions improve. The municipality announced June 29th that the ban had been lifted.

Cameron Morehouse, fire chief for South Dundas Fire and Emergency Services said that fire risk in our region had been deemed “extreme” for quite some time.

SDFES constantly monitors fire danger forecast maps and weather patterns reported by Environment and Natural Resources Canada.

Local complaints and coordination with neighbouring municipalities are also factors in Morehouse’s decisions regarding the issuing of burn bans.

In the days leading up to the June 24th burn ban SDFES was issuing regular notices warning residents of the fire danger, holding off as long as it could to implement the ban.

“By providing notices of the increased risk leading up to the ban, we can work with the public to keep everyone safe,” said Morehouse explaining the use of the notice process which is new to South Dundas. “The safety of our community is our main priority and so a ban is implemented when we can no longer reasonably ensure that safety.”

“We had been monitoring several fires across the municipality,” Morehouse told The Leader. “We know that burning brush is an important process for our agriculture and construction sectors. It can also be a positive social pastime for social distancing when done safely.”

“We had hoped to get enough rain to stave off the need for a burn ban, however the risk became too great. We heard the concerns from our residents so the ban was implemented.”

Bans include agricultural and recreational fires. The only type of burning that is exempt from the ban is that of home barbecues.

During a burn ban burn permits are not activated and fines can be issued for burning without a permit, burning without activating a permit, and burning during a ban.

Morehouse was hopeful that there would be enough rainfall over this past weekend to allow the burn ban to be lifted in time for Canada Day.

The SDFES offered these tips for fireworks users on July 1st: Choose a wide, clear site away from all obstacles and combustibles; Refer to the safety instructions; Bury fireworks that do not have a base halfway in a container of earth or sand; Set them at a 10-degree angle, pointing away from people; Read all instructions on the fireworks; Never try to light a firework or hold a lit firework in your hand; Keep children and others a safe distance behind the fireworks that are being lit. Sparklers, which are often given to children to hold, burn at 1200 degrees Fahrenheit. This can cause significant injury or burns!

Other tips include: Keep water nearby; Dispose of used fireworks in a pail of water; Never try to re-light a dud; People under 18 years old who use fireworks must be supervised by an adult; Wearing safety glasses to light fireworks is recommended.

A copy of the municipal bylaws concerning fireworks is available on South Dundas’ website.

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