Fire Ban Violations Tying Up Emergency Crews


The fire bans that are in place across many parts of Renfrew County aren't being respected, and that's been tying up valuable emergency resources.

Crews were scrambling to calls all weekend about bonfires and fireworks in these tinder-dry conditions.  

Madawaska Valley Fire Chief Corwin Quade says his department had two calls in particular that could have easily turned into larger, uncontrollable fires.

"Oh, quite easily", Quade told Pure Country 96.7 on Tuesday morning.

"We had one place where they had three campfires out in the middle of a farmer's field ... and another where they were setting off fireworks inside a pine plantation", Quade said. 

Madawaska Valley is one of the places where a total fire ban is in effect, for all open-air burning, until further notice.

"It ties up a lot of our services, it costs taxpayers a lot of money, and it also puts our guys at risk if there's more than one call at one time, which does tend to happen", Quade added.

That was the case in Bonnechere Valley Township this weekend, where firefighters were kept on their feet with fire calls, despite the fire ban that's also in place in that township.

"Both stations responding to separate simultaneous illegal campfire calls. Respect the Level 2 Fire Ban", tweeted the Bonnechere Valley Fire Department's official account on Monday night at 10:02 p.m.

Officials say it's critical that you check with your local township or municipality to see if fires are allowed and if so, what restrictions are in place.