SASKATOON – Fire crews believe human error caused a grass fire just north of Cathedral Bluffs on Sunday. Both Warman Fire and Rescue and the Saskatoon Fire Department responded to the fire around 11 a.m. CT.
Crews were able to control the fire before it reached any buildings however the property owners could be facing a fine.
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The Rural Municipality (RM) of Corman Park enacted a fire ban on Friday because of the dry conditions that make it easy for grass fires to spread. The reeve of Corman Park, Judy Harwood, says it was an easy decision to make with the number of recent fires.
“In the past week, we had 17 fires in Corman Park and two days prior to the ban we had 14,” Harwood said.
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Harwood understands that warm spring weather has many hoping for a camp fire, or to clean their land with a controlled burn, but said she hopes that people take the fire ban seriously.
“With the weather conditions and the winds, let’s be honest, we’re in Saskatchewan. You don’t want to take a chance,” Harwood said.
Kevin Ritz is the acting battalion chief with the Saskatoon Fire Department and he also warns against any open flame, saying grass fires spread faster than people can realize.
“With conditions like they are now, maybe wait until it gets moister and more conducive to burning and not having to worry about it running away on you,” Ritz said.
The fire ban means anyone with an open flame in Corman Park could face a fine of $300 for first time offence and $500 for any after as well as fees from firefighters coming out to fight the blaze.
Harwood doesn’t know when the RM that surrounds Saskatoon will be lifting its fire ban, but knows it won’t be until there is significant rain fall.