Burn Permit - What You Need to Know
A County of Newell Fire Permit is Free of charge and Mandatory to have if you plan on doing any burning.
The County of Newell Bylaw 1958-19, cited as the Fire Bylaw regulates burning within the County of Newell boundaries.
Section 12 of this bylaw states, "A Fire Permit is not required under this Bylaw for a Recreational Fire Pit." Recreational Fire Pit is defined in article 2.16 as "any non-combustible device used for recreational burning of seasonal dried wood only." Construction guidelines for burning devices are included in Schedule A of the bylaw.
Sections 16 & 20 of this bylaw states, "No person shall light an Incinerator Fire, Outdoor Fire or Structure Fire unless he or she is the holder of a valid Fire Permit if required under this Bylaw or the Forest and Prairie Protection Act, or both” and "No person shall light an Outdoor Fire, Structure Fire, Incinerator Fire, or a Recreational Fire Pit Fire without first taking sufficient precautions to ensure that the fire can be kept under control at all times or when the weather conditions are conducive to creating a Running Fire. All fires shall be continuously supervised by a Responsible Person.”
Section 23 states, "Any person who fails to hold a valid Fire Permit, when one is required under this Bylaw, is guilty of an offense.”
Section 25 states, "A person who fails to comply with any provision contained in this Bylaw, except for the failure to hold a valid Fire Permit which is otherwise provided for under Section 23 of this Bylaw, is guilty of an offense”.
Penalties for offenses are outlined in Schedule B of the Fire Bylaw.
The Forest and Prairie Protection Act, Revised Statutes of Alberta 2000 chapter F-19, current as of December 9, 2016.
Application of Act #2 states, This Act applies to all lands within Alberta except (a) land within the boundaries of an urban municipality where there is no specific provision in this Act to the contrary and (b) land owned by the Government of Canada in respect of which the Minister has not entered into a fire control agreement.
Prohibitions #22 states, No person shall (a) light an outdoor fire without taking sufficient precautions to ensure that the fire can be kept under control at all times, (b) light an outdoor fire when any fire hazard or burning hazard is conducive to a fire readily escaping out of control, (c) fail to take reasonable steps to control a fire for the purpose of preventing it from spreading onto land other than the person’s own, (d) deposit, discard or leave any burning matter or substance in a place where it might ignite other matter and result in a fire.
False Statements #36, No person shall provide false or misleading information when information is required to be provided by that person under this Act.
Offences and penalties #37(1), a person who contravenes this Act or the regulations or fails to comply with an order under this Act or a condition of a permit issued under this Act is guilty of an offence and liable (a) in the case of an individual, to a fine of not more than $50,000.00 or to imprisonment for a period of not more than one year or to both fine and imprisonment, or (b) in the case of a corporation, to a fine of not more than $500,000.00.
Offences and penalties #37(2), A person who knowingly contravenes this Act or the regulations or knowingly fails to comply with an order under this Act or a condition of a permit issued under this Act is guilty of an offence and liable (a) in the case of an individual, to a fine of not more than $100,000.00 or to imprisonment for a period of not more than 2 years or to both fine and imprisonment or, (b) in the case of a corporation, to a fine of not more than $1,000,000.00.
Fire Permits can be obtained from the County of Newell Office during business hours. A Fire Guardian may impose conditions upon the applicant or suspend or cancel a permit at any time. A Fire Permit needs to be countersigned by a Fire Guardian before it is valid.
Some simple burning rules are as follows:
- Before lighting the fire call your local Fire Department ( a number is provided on your permit)
- Have a copy of your Permit on site at all times.
- Supervise the burn at all times; extinguish if conditions become hazardous or prevent control of the burn.
- Keep an adequate supply of water on site at all times.
- No burning at night; all fires are to be completely extinguished prior to dark.
- Smoke must not impede visibility on roadways.
- No burning if winds exceed 15 km/hr. including gusts.
- Keep the fire under control at all times.
What You Can’t Burn
- Animal manure
- Pathological waste
- Wood products containing preservatives
- Rubber including tires
- Plastic, including baler twine
- Waste materials from construction sites
- Oil pesticide/chemical pails
- Plastic or rubber coated materials
- Any waste that causes dense smoke, offensive odors, or releases toxic substances
Now you know, so burn safe, use a good neighbor policy and do not let your fire get out of hand as a fire can double in size every 30 seconds.
Note - new Provincial fines are substantial please obey the Bylaws and Acts.
Rural Fire & Emergency Services Coordinator
County of Newell
How to Estimate Wind Speed
0 – 1 km/h (Calm) Smoke rises vertically; no visible wind
2 – 5 km/h (Light Air) Smoke drifts; no visible wind; direction of the wind shown by smoke drift but not by wind vanes
6 – 10 km/r (Light Breeze) Leaves rustle; weather vanes move; wind felt on face
11 – 19 km/h (Gentle Breeze) Light flags unfurl; leaves and twigs on trees move steadily
20 – 28 km/h (Moderate Breeze) Small branches move; loose dust and paper fly about
29 – 38 km/h (Fresh Breeze) Leafy shrubs and trees sway; crested wavelets form on inland waters
39 – 49 km/h (Strong Breeze) Large branches in motion; whistling heard in overhead wires; umbrellas used with difficulty
50 – 61 km/h (Moderate Gale) Whole trees in motion; inconvenience felt when walking against the wind
62 – 74 km/h (Fresh Gale) Breaks twigs off trees; generally, impedes progress
75 – 88 km/h (Strong Gale) Slight structural damage occurs (e.g. TV antennas and tiles)
89 – 100 km/h (Whole Gale) Trees uprooted; considerable structural damage