Burning questions on fires – and fire permits


Two landowners have been fined so far this season for burning without a permit.

And the municipality hopes there won’t be more fines levied this year, because getting a permit is free, and everyone benefits – especially the fire department.

“The thing is that people driving by a grass fire by the highway will call 911,” said Rick Pauls, mayor of the Municipality of Killarney-Turtle Mountain. “When we issue a permit at the town office, that permit is also emailed to the fire chief, Troy Cuvelier. The 911 dispatcher will contact him when they get these calls, and if Troy has a record of the permit, and the fire is not out of control, they don’t have to send out a fire crew. That saves everyone time and money.”

Farmers and landowners who wish to burn crop residue or grass for farming practices can apply for a permit to burn at the Civic Office, at 415 Broadway Avenue during business hours.

The permit itself includes the six points you need to follow while conducting your fire, said chief administrative officer for the municipality, Karen Patterson.

These include:

  • keeping the fire under control at all times
  • bearing responsibility for all property damage which may result
  • fireguarding the area under the terms of the Fires Prevention and Emergency Response Act
  • not setting a fire, and then leaving it unattended
  • not setting a fire when fire conditions are extreme and hazardous
  • and keeping your permit form with you whilst burning is underway

The permit itself is valid for one week only, and if it runs out for whatever reason, it’s time to apply for a new one, says the town.


The fine for burning without a permit is set at a minimum of $100, and up to a maximum of $1,000, according to the municipality bylaw No. 8-2015.

“If the fire department is called to a fire that doesn’t have a permit, they can be fined,” said Patterson. “Two fines have been issued so far this season.”

Contained fires, however, are exempt from the requirement for a permit, provided there is not a general burning ban in effect – which halts all forms of burning during times of extreme high risk.

“If you have piles of leaves on fire, it’s not okay,” said Debbie Panchuk, who helps issue the permits in the town office. “Open fires are not permitted. But if you are burning in a contained fire pit or a burn barrel, in a controlled situation, that’s okay, and you don’t need a permit.”

Removal of old buildings, on the other hand, need even more documentation.

They require a permit to burn, notification to the fire department, and a demolition permit.

And – as a final aside – the town can also fine residents who make multiple false fire alarms.

If, in a twelve-month period, a person makes three false alarm calls, the third one will precipitate a false alarm fee of $1,000.

For more information on burning regulations, permits, and other questions, contact the Municipality of Killarney-Turtle Mountain.

PERMIT REQUIRED – The Killarney-Turtle Mountain Fire Department responded to what turned out to be a planned burn, which was being managed by the farmer, on Monday evening approximately three miles east of Highway 18 on Highway 3. Fire Chief Troy Cuvelier (right) spoke with the landowner, who had not taken out a permit for the fire, which was called in by a passer-by who saw the thick smoke.