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St. John’s Regional Fire Department warns public of safety protocol for open air fires

['A brush fire near homes on Old Pennywell Road caused a few anxious moments Thursday evening.']
A brush fire near homes on Old Pennywell Road caused a few anxious moments in this Telegram file photo

As spring approaches, anyone wishing to clear brush, cleaning up your yard or clearing land to build a new home, the St. John’s Regional Fire Department (SJRFD) urges the public to use extra caution.

While it may seem like things are wet from spring showers, dry vegetation doesn’t take much to ignite and leads to bigger issues as wildfires can spread quickly and cause a host of damage in its path.

Anyone who is going to carry out open fire burning is asked to follow SJRFD and the City of St. John’s protocol that includes requesting a permit for open air burning or burning in a barrel.

There are several conditions to meet in order to obtain a permit. Those include where the fire is employed, what you can burn and how large the fire is allowed to be.

There are several conditions to meet in order to obtain a permit:

• The fire shall be a minimum of 15 metres from all brush, debris or combustible materials.

• The permitee shall have at least one person and adequate firefighting equipment and water supply for SJRFD to extinguish the fire if it becomes necessary at the site.

• The fire shall not exceed 1.5 square meters.

• No more than one fire shall be burning at a time.

• The fire shall not be left unattended until it is extinguished completely, and the fire is to be extinguished before dark.

• No open air fires are permitted during periods of high or extreme fire weather Index or in winds over 20 km/h.

• The permit does not allow for the burning of heavy oils, items containing natural or synthetic rubber, animal carcasses or animal wastes, asphaltic products, waste petroleum, paints, plastics aerosol cans, electrical wiring, treated wood products or any other material other than plant growth, paper products or untreated wood construction wastes.

A copy of the complete open air fire regulations can be obtained on the City of St. John’s website at http://stjohns.ca/living-st-johns/building-renovation-and-repairs/laws-and-violations.

telegram@thetelegram.com

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