The Town of Canmore has issued a stop order for FireSmart work being conducted on private lands in the Peaks of Grassi subdivision after contractors left fires burning unattended on site.
Junior planner Camila Ramos-Strankman said the stop order was issued on Feb. 26 after neighbourhood residents, concerned there were unattended fires, called Canmore Fire-Rescue on Feb. 22 around 8 p.m.
“Having these unattended fires goes against the permits from the fire department as well as the development permit (issued for this work) on the private lands,” Ramos-Strankman said.
She added conditions have been communicated to the property’s owners as to what would be required for the work to continue.
“Peaks of Grassi is a high fire risk area, so having these lands properly FireSmarted is something we would like to encourage,” Ramos-Strankman said.
FireSmart is a provincial program that encourages removal of fire fuels on public and private lands that could contribute to a wildfire. Preventative measures include removing dead and downed trees and often they are burned on site.
Pierre Doyon, who owns the property with two other Canmore residents, provided a statement to the Outlook regarding the stop order.
“The fire department responded to a complaint about a few unattended, smouldering debris fires during a prescribed FireSmart fuel reduction prescription,” Doyon wrote in an email.
“The experienced contractor and the FireSmart specialist supervising the work were conducting a safe program during ideal burning conditions, i.e. lots of snow on the ground and cold temperatures. This was similar to FireSmart work previously conducted for the Town of Canmore on public lands. The stop order delayed completion of the FireSmart program due to the fire permit March 1 expiry date.”