Media Release: Burning Ban Continues in the RM of St. Clements

Burning Ban enters its 7th week as tinder dry conditions persist

Out-of-control grass fire on Floodway Drive North on Friday, May 31, 2019. The fire burned a shop to the ground but a nearby garage was saved. Photo by Chris Stienke, Prairie By-Law Enforcement Officer

RM OF ST CLEMENTS, MB – The RM of St. Clements has had a burning ban in place since April 23, with the exception of three days in early May during which there was a large fire in the Libau area.  After this the ban was quickly put back in place.

The long duration of the burning ban has caused frustration with residents and cottagers who want to clean up their properties and have some fun with fireworks.

So far this year there have been 25 wildland fires in the East Selkirk catchment area alone, with the first on March 23 and the most recent one on June 2.

This year has been exceptionally dry with rain levels well-below usual levels causing vegetation to remain dry and vulnerable to fire.

A burning ban is issued in the RM of St. Clements when conditions are extremely dry and the potential for a fire to become out of control is high.

Before implementing a burning ban, the RM consults with local fire chiefs, neighbouring municipalities, Manitoba Conservation and Environment Canada.

Burning is controlled by individual municipalities and provincial parks have their own jurisdiction.

Burning bans help reduce the number of human-caused fires. Even with a burning ban in place, fires still happen.

During a burning ban, no person in the municipality is allowed to start a fire outside of a recreationally-approved outdoor covered fire pit. This includes no burning of yard waste, burn barrels, crop residue, ditch burning or fireworks.

An approved fire pit is enclosed on all sides and constructed of masonry, concrete, heavy gauge metal or other non-combustible material. It should be covered with a non-combustible grate or mesh and if it has a chimney, should have mesh or a spark arrester installed.

Local transfer stations do not accept burnables during a fire ban as they are also not allowed to burn and the fire risk goes up with a stockpile of burnables. Residents who want to get rid of their burnables must take them to Libau landfill, where a fee is charged and they are buried, not burned.

The three RM fire departments – East Beaches Fire and Rescue, East Selkirk Fire Department and Narol Fire Department have been kept busy in the RM, often assisted by fire departments from other municipalities. They have also assisted with fires in other municipalities.

Every fire carries a cost of time, money and energy and puts fire fighters and property at risk.

Residents burning during a burning ban are subject to a fine:

  • $100.00 for the first offense
  • $200.00 for the second offence
  • $300.00 for the third offense
  • $500.00 for each subsequent offense

If the fire department must fight a fire caused by a resident burning during a burning ban, that resident might be charged for some/all of the cost of fighting the fire.

For more information, please contact RM of St. Clements Protective Services Manager Carmen Barna-Germaine at 204-482-3300 or at protect@rmofstclements.com.