At approximately 11:54 p.m. on April 6, the Ponoka County Regional Fire Services was called out to a small brush fire in town.
The fire, east of the old green bridge on the east side of the Battle River, was possibly caused by smoking, says Protective Services Coordinator Donna Noble.
Firefighters were done extinguishing the blaze about 20 minutes after Midnight, according to Noble.
The flames were spotted by two employees of the Centennial Centre for Mental Health and Brain Injury, Dave Piel and Kelli Duncan, who were heading home after work.
Piel and Duncan say they saw the small fire across from the parking lot for the walking trail just south of the Siding 14 bridge and called 911.
The fire was small, but given its location near the road and that it seemed to be growing quickly, they were concerned it would get into the dry brush and potentially burn all the way to the ball diamonds.
We are now in the dry season, and Ponoka County Regional Fire Services issued a fire advisory that came into effect on April 2, that will be in place until conditions improve.
The fire advisory was issued due to the recent wind conditions and lack of moisture, according to the notice.
The fire advisory includes the Town of Ponoka, Town of Rimbey and the Summer Village of Parkland Beach.
All existing fire permits will be allowed to expire, however, no further fire (open burn) or fireworks permits will be issued for the duration of the fire advisory.
Fire services advises to use extreme caution while using fire pits, burn barrels and conducting any open burning.
“An ‘under control’ fire can change in a matter of seconds or minutes. Be aware of the weather conditions at all times while burning,” stated the notice.
“Always extinguish your fire if the change in weather increases the hazard of your fire. Thanks for helping keep the residents and community safe.”
What is permitted?
Burns with approved permits, internal household fire places, incinerators (for farm and acreage use), bylaw compliant burning barrels and fire pits (with screen in place), fires contained within approved facilities and appliances in designed camping, recreational areas, portable propane fire pits and appliances and barbecues smokers using charcoals and pellets are still permitted.
For up-to-date information on fire bans, visit albertafirebans.ca.