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Fire Permits

Click to begin a fire permit application: Lethbridge County Fire Permit Application (permits currently not enabled due to Fire Ban)


FIRE BAN IN EFFECT

Lethbridge County has issued a Fire Ban effective 9:00 a.m. Friday, August 19, 202, due to the dry, hot, windy conditions that exist and are forecasted to continue, Lethbridge County has issued a Fire Ban on all open fires within its municipal boundaries.  

Under the Fire Ban, all active fire permits are cancelled, and no new permits will be issued until further notice.  Burning of any kind is not permitted, including burning anything in a barrel, household garbage, yard debris, etc.

Fires that are contained in cooking or heating appliances fueled by fluids or gasses (gas or propane fueled fire rings, BBQs, stoves, and heaters) are exempt from the ban.

It is a fineable offence to ignite or allow a fire to burn under a Fire Ban.

Always be aware of the current Fire Ban status by visiting https://lethcounty.ca/p/fire-bans 


Questions?
Call 403-328-5525
Monday - Friday 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

A permit is required for the following activities:

  • Outdoor fires- any fire outdoors (other than in an approved fire pit or approved burning barrel)
  • Structure fires- a fire confined to or within a building, structure, machine, or vehicle that will likely cause damage to or destruction of the structure 

If you do not get a fire permit and you take part in the above burning activities, you may be fined under Lethbridge County’s Fire Bylaw #22-002.

A permit is not required for the following activities:

  • A fire in an Acceptable Burning Barrel for burning Burnable Debris (see below for specifications)
  • A fire in an Acceptable Fire Pit or Acceptable Fireplace (see below for specifications)
  • A Recreational Fire (see below for specifications)
  • A Smudge fire, confined to a non-combustible structure or container lit for protecting livestock from insects, or protecting garden plants from frost and is fueled only by dry wood or charcoal

provided that:

  • The fire is kept under control and supervised at all times by a responsible adult until the fire has been completely extinguished
  • The flame height does not exceed 90 centimetres above the structure or container

Please be aware that although you do not need a permit for the above items if a Fire Ban is in place these may not be permitted.  More information on fire bans is below.

Fire permit holders may burn the following items:

  • Paper products, cardboard
  • Untreated wood (wood or wood products that don’t contain preservatives)
  • Yard waste (grass/tree clippings, leaves, branches, fallen trees, brush, weeds, etc.)
  • Straw and stubble

These items cannot be burned, even with a fire permit:

  • Wood or wood products that contain preservatives
  • Plastic (including silage plastic, grain bags, and baler twine, BUT- these items can be recycled at the Iron Springs Transfer Station: https://lethcounty.ca/p/recycling)
  • Rubber (including tires)
  • Animal manure or cadavers
  • Waste material from construction sites (untreated wood is permitted)
  • Pathological waste
  • Containers that have held chemicals or pesticides
  • Oil

If you need clarification on what materials you can and cannot burn, please call Lethbridge County at 403-328-5525.  If you burn prohibited debris, you may be fined under Lethbridge County’s Fire Bylaw #22-002.

Under Lethbridge County’s Fire Bylaw #22-002, fines apply for (but not limited to):

  • Burning Prohibited Debris (up to $1,000)
  • Lighting a fire without a permit (up to $500)
  • Discharging fireworks without a permit (up to $1,000)
  • Lighting a fire during a Fire Restriction, unless it is exempt from a permit (up to $2,000)
  • Lighting a fire during a Fire Ban, unless it is exempt from a permit (up to $5,000)
  • Lighting a fire on another person’s property without their written consent (up to $500)
  • Contravening the conditions of a fire permit (up to $1,000)
  • Giving false or misleading information (up to $1,000)
  • Failing to report a fire (up to $500)
  • Allowing a fire to pass onto another person's land (up to $2,000)
  • Lighting a fire without taking sufficient precautions (up to $1,000)
  • Depositing, discarding, or leaving any burning matter where it might light other objects on fire (up to $1,000)
  • Allowing a fire to give off dense smoke or odour that is a risk to public safety (up to $10,000)
  • Allowing smoke from a fire to impede visibility to vehicles on a road (up to 1,000)
  • Lighting a fire on lands owned or controlled by Lethbridge County without the County's written consent (up to ($1,000)

You may also be billed for the costs of an emergency response (fire departments) if:

  • You light a fire without a permit and do not extinguish it, the fire department may extinguish it for you
  • Your fire becomes uncontrollable, and a fire department is needed to extinguish it

Additionally, if your fire damages another person’s property you may be liable and/or responsible for damages.

Fire pits must meet the following criteria under Lethbridge County’s Fire Bylaw #22-002:

  • Fully enclosed on all sides and constructed of bricks, concrete blocks, or heavy gauge metal, or other suitable non-combustible material
  • No more than 1 metre (3.28 feet) wide and 0.6 metres (2 feet) high
  • Set upon or built into the bare ground or on a non-combustible material, such as brick, stone, or concrete
  • Cannot be located over any underground utilities
  • A minimum of 1 metre laterally and 5 metres vertically from any aboveground wires
  • The flame cannot be higher than 90 centimetres above the top of the fire pit
  • Must be supervised at all times by a responsible adult


Fire pit safety tipsClick to view larger

Fire pits must meet the following criteria under Lethbridge County’s Fire Bylaw #22-002:

  • Constructed of materials, such as bricks or rocks that are heat and flame resistant
  • Cannot be closer than 1 metre (3.28 feet) from buildings
  • Base must be at least 0.3 metres (1 foot) above surrounding grade
  • Must have a chimney that is at least 2.5 metres (8.25 feet) high above the material burning area
  • Must have a screen designed to contain sparks
  • Fire chamber must not be larger than 1.25 metres (4 feet) wide and must be at least 0.4 metres (1.3 feet) deep (but not more than 0.6 metres (2 feet)
  • Must be supervised at all times by a responsible adult
  • The flame cannot be higher than 90 centimetres above the top of the fire pit

Burn barrels must be an outdoor receptacle that meet the following criteria under Lethbridge County’s Fire Bylaw #22-002:

  • Cannot be closer than 5 metres (16.5 feet) from a property line or from any combustible material such as buildings, fences, decks, foliage, etc.
  • Constructed of non-combustible materials
  • Must have draft holes no larger than 15 millimetres in diameter
  • Must be equipped with a heavy guage metal screen to contain sparks, with a mesh size no larger than 0.7 centimetres (0.25 inches) secured in place with latches or weights
  • Must not be located over underground utility services or below aboveground wires
  • Must be supervised at all times by a responsible adult
  • The flame cannot be higher than 90 centimetres above the top of the fire pit

You must follow the regulations on your fire permit, which include:

  • At least one hour before burning you must call the Lethbridge Public Safety Communications Centre at 403-327-3462 with your permit number and the estimated amount of time you will be burning.  You must also call once burning is complete.
  • No burning is permitted between the night hours of 10:00 pm and 5:00 am unless a special permit has been issued by the Manager of Fire Services, Fire Guardian or designate for Lethbridge County.
  • Do not burn if the humidity % is lower than the temperature in degrees Celsius or if winds are greater than 25 kilometres per hour.  View the Environment Canada website for current conditions: https://weather.gc.ca/city/pages/ab-30_metric_e.html
  • You must not burn or immediately extinguish your fire if a Fire Ban or Fire Restriction is put in place
  • You must have your fire permit with you while burning

Have enough water at the burning site to extinguish your fire.  If your fire becomes out of your control, call 911 immediately.

Also, be mindful of your neighbours and others in the area who may be affected by the smoke or odour from your fire.

Burning do's and don'ts infographic

If the Fire Hazard is high, Lethbridge County may impose a Fire Ban or Fire Restriction which automatically cancels all issued Fire Permits.  Always check our website or the Alberta Fire Bans website for more information and before you burn to ensure no Fire Ban or Fire Restriction is in effect.

A permit a required to set off fireworks in Lethbridge County, and fines apply under the Fire Bylaw #22-002 for not obtaining one.

For more information on getting a fireworks permit, visit the fireworks webpage: https://lethcounty.ca/p/fireworks