South Frontenac Fire Chief urges residents to avoid unnecessary burning

Photo via South Frontenac Township.

With spring on everyone’s mind, South Frontenac’s Fire Chief is asking residents to play it safe and avoid unnecessary open air burns.

In a media release from South Frontenac Township, dated Thursday, Mar. 7, 2024, Del Blakney, who took over the reins as the new Fire Chief in South Frontenac in January asked for residents’ cooperation, given the dry end to winter and beginning to spring.

“Many people think spring is a safe time to burn brush and yard waste, but it’s actually one of the worst times of the year to burn due to the dry, dead vegetation on the ground that can spark grass fires,” Blakney stated. “The conditions we are seeing are already concerning—the ground is very dry and there have been brush fires already in some municipalities.”

Blakney asked residents to play it safe and instead of burning brush, take it to the Township’s Portland landfill site free of charge. According to the release, the site is conveniently located on Highway 38 just south of Verona and is open Wednesdays and Saturdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 pm and accepts brush, up to 6” in diameter, and bagged leaves, which must be emptied on site.

The township noted that federal officials are already issuing warnings about this year’s wildfire season. At meetings held in Ottawa at the end of February, Minister of Emergency Preparedness Harjit Sajjan said fire agencies are preparing for the worst, warning this year’s wildfire season could be even worse than last year.

According to the release, fire season in South Frontenac starts April 1 to October 31 and is the time fire bans are most likely to be put in effect. A Level One Fire Ban permits cooking and campfires; a Total Fire Ban prohibits all open air burning.

Residents can subscribe to the Fire Ban Status page of the Township’s website to get alerts when the Fire Ban status changes. A permit is not required for open air burning, but any open air fire must be supervised at all times according to the Township’s Open Air Burning By-law. Kingstonist will provide coverage of changes to fire ban levels as information becomes available.

“There is no fire ban currently in effect, but I urge all residents to be smart, play it safe, avoid unnecessary burning, and be aware of conditions and when fire bans are in place so we can all have a safe summer,” said Blakney.

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