City of Kawartha Lakes implements burn ban for April

Ban intended to prevent grass fires due to dry vegetation at beginning of spring

Grrass fire

Kawartha Lakes Fire Rescue Service is implementing a burn ban effective Wednesday, April 1st, 2015.

“Each year we respond to numerous unnecessary and preventable grass fires during the month of April,” says Fire Chief Mark Pankhurst.

“These fires place our residents and firefighters in unnecessary danger,” he explains. “The cost of responding to these fires places a tremendous strain on the fire department budget. By implementing the April burn ban annually, we will mitigate the risks and reduce unnecessary costs associated with these fires.”

As in previous years, the ban will remain in place for the entire month of April to reduce the risk of grass fires caused by dry vegetation.

“Despite the fact that the ground appears to be saturated or still perhaps has a bit of snow covering the northern areas of the city, the southern end of the city can be completely arid,” says Fire Chief Mark Pankhurst. “Dry grass and debris catch fire easily and flames spread quickly. Typically by the end of April, things have greened up and the risk of grass fires is dramatically reduced.”

Residents will be informed when the ban is lifted.

The ban does not apply to those with Agricultural or Special Burn Permits as special conditions already apply to these permits. However, Chief Pankhurst says that safe practices should be followed at all times when burning.

Under section 8.03 of the City of Kawartha Lakes by-law, those setting a fire during a burn ban can be charged under the Provincial Offences Act and will also be responsible for the costs incurred by fire control in extinguishing the fire.