Centre Wellington Fire and Rescue said they have seen an increase in burn permit sales lately due to the warmer weather.
However, they want to remind the general public that to have any open air burning in the township a burn permit is needed.
Centre Wellington fire prevention officer Christopher Paluch said, the burn permitting process in town only really works when everyone is paying attention to the rules.
“The burn permits are really only for campfires and we want to remind people that it’s only for burning good, clean wood, it’s not for burning off all the old yard waste and moldy leaves […] and there is never to be any burning of leaves in the town,” Paluch said.
Paluch said when burning leaves, the smoke carries and it’s a low hazy smoke that will upset the neighbours.
He said it’s also unacceptable to be burning garbage and plastic.
Paluch said burn permitting has been in Centre Wellington for well over 10 years, and the fire department will not accept the excuse that people don’t know they need to have a permit to have a campfire.
He said as much as they don’t want to they will write out tickets to those who aren’t following the rules.
“Always make sure you have a means of extinguishing the fire, don’t let the fire get out of control, never leave the fire unattended, and paying attention to the wind is really important too,” Paluch said. “Don’t set a fire on a real windy day because the fire is going to take off a lot quicker and that smoke is really going to carry and that’s what upsets the neighbours, and that’s when we start getting the phone calls.”
Paluch said a burn permit only costs $26 but if someone doesn’t have one fines can go up to $300.
He said if a fire is very large in nature then the homeowner can actually be billed for the fire trucks arriving at their residence, which is well over $500 per vehicle.
Paluch said is someone isn’t following the rules then people can call the station during daytime hours at 519-843-1950 to let them know.
He stressed that people are asked to only burn clean brush and what he means by that is anything dry, nothing that is still green or was recently alive.
“We ask that people do not burn that because when old pine twigs get off in a hurry it makes one heck of a fire and those little embers can carry, and carry, and there’s the possibility that they can land and ignite a fire elsewhere,” Paluch said.
Paluch said people need to realize even though it seems damp outside right now the exposed grass on top is drier than paper, so if an ember was to land on it a fire would sustain itself above the actual ground level, and it will spread very quickly.
He added a burn permit is good for the full calendar year, starting January 1 and expiring on New Year’s Eve.
A burn permit can be purchased by clicking here.
Centre Wellington fire prevention officer Christopher Paluch: