A provincial fire ban has been in effect since April 3rd, but some are still going against the ban.
“There’s a zero-tolerance with enforcement,” Deputy Fire Chief with the Bancroft Fire Department Matt Musclow says. “The fines are quite heavy.” He adds that the fines will differ depending on the municipality.
He says that the area is in its dry-out period and hasn’t reached the green-up period yet, which is why it’s important to obey the ban. He says all Fire Departments in North Hastings have been responding to “countless numbers” of grass and bush fires. Just this past weekend, Bancroft’s responded to five calls on top of the 10 further ones they’ve dealt with in the past two weeks.
Musclow explains that the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry stepped in to put on the fire ban because their resources are stretched thin during the pandemic. “What they’re doing is trying to implement as many steps as they can so first responders don’t have to be out in the community,” he adds.
With temperatures still rather cool at night, some residents are still using their wood fires indoors. Musclow reminds residents that are disposing of their ashes to put them into a metal container and let them cool for up to a week before drowning them in water and disposing of the ashes.