Can I burn?

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Before you burn

Fire permit holders are required to contact Strathcona County before every burn to see if burning is allowed. Firework permit holders must call to verify that burning is allowed. 

  • Call the Burning Status Line at 780-464-8464. This is a 24-hour automated line, or
  • Text the word "BURN" to 587-340-3696 to receive an immediate reply.

Frequently asked burning status questions:

  • 1. What is a fire advisory?

    A fire advisory is an extended suspension on any fires requiring a burning permit

    An advisory only allows for: 

    • recreational fires in covered fire pits, bowls or chimineas
    • approved fire pits within recognized campgrounds and parks
    • propane and natural gas appliances

    All other fires are not permitted. Fire and fireworks permits are suspended until the advisory is lifted.

  • 2. What is a fire ban?

    A fire ban is when no outdoor fires are allowed, including burning barrels, fireworks, recreational fire pits and charcoal barbecues. 

    Learn more about fire bans. 

  • 3. Why does the Burning Status Line say burning is not allowed right now?

    Emergency Services reserves the right to suspend fire permits without notice at any time when conditions are unsafe for open fires.

    There are four basic reasons for this:

    • it’s too dry
    • it’s too windy (winds are forecasted to exceed 15 km/h)
    • lack of available manpower (due to other ongoing incidents)
    • a fire ban or advisory is in place

    This status is continually monitored and may change quickly. We encourage residents to consider their fire size and possible duration prior to burning.

  • 4. Is there anything I'm not allowed to burn?

    As per Emergency Services Bylaw 68-2000, it is illegal to burn:

    • food waste
    • animal carcasses and manure
    • treated construction materials
    • wire
    • insulation
    • rubber and plastics
    • herbicides and pesticides
    • any other toxic materials which may produce dense black smoke
    • painted, stained or pressure treated wood
    • railroad ties

    The above materials must be disposed of by other means, such as using a waste collection service or Strathcona County’s  Enviroservice Station. For more information, call Utilities at 780-449-5514.

  • 5. Do I need a fire permit?

    Fires that require a fire permit include open fires, incinerators and burn barrels. Fire permits are not issued for properties within:

    • Sherwood Park
    • Ardrossan
    • Josephburg
    • North and South Cooking Lake
    • Antler Lake
    • Hastings Lake
    • Half Moon Lake
    • Collingwood Cove

    Fires that do not require a fire permit include recreational fire pits (pots, bowls, fire tables or chimineas) and smudge fires.

    Fire permit holders must call Strathcona County’s 24 hour Burning Status Line at 780-464-8464 or text the word “BURN” to 587-340-3696 each time you burn to confirm that conditions allow for burning.

  • 6. How do I report someone who is burning improperly?

    Immediate danger to life or properties should be reported to 9-1-1.

    Non-emergent complaints can be directed to Fire Prevention at 780-449-9651 or fireprevention@strathcona.ca. Please provide the exact address of the complaint to assist with the investigation.  

    Complaints may include incidents of excessive or toxic smoke, burning prohibited materials, burning improperly or burning during a fire ban or advisory.

  • 7. How do you decide when a fire ban is declared?

    Emergency Services compiles and reviews current and forecasted data such as humidity, wind speed, temperature and precipitation within Strathcona County.

    Other factors reviewed include:

    • Risk of a fires getting out of control
    • Relation between temperature and humidity
    • Water restrictions or water bans
    • Lack of available manpower (due to other ongoing incidents)

    Fire bans are declared and lifted by the Fire Chief or designate.

  • 8. What are the penalties for burning illegally?

    Any person who ignites, fuels, supervises, maintains or permits an outdoor fire within the municipal boundaries of Strathcona County without a permit or in violation of burning regulations (e.g. during a fire ban) can be fined up to $1,000.

    Should the fire get out of control and emergency fire response is required, the person responsible for the fire can be charged the full firefighting costs.

    If your fire causes damage to others’ property, you may also be responsible for the costs to repair the damage, whether you have a valid permit or not.

  • 9. Where can I find more information about the air quality in Strathcona County?

    Strathcona County is a member of the Alberta Capital Airshed, a group committed to increasing the air quality and providing updated information to residents in the Capital Region. Air Quality Health Index values can be found at www.capitalairshed.ca

    Immediate danger to life or properties should be reported to 9-1-1.

Further information
780-449-9651
fireprevention@strathcona.ca

Last updated: Wednesday, June 20, 2018
Page ID: 48731