With the hot sun not letting up anytime soon, it's important to remember to be careful with fires this long weekend.
As the work week ends and the long weekend celebrations kick off, it's going to be essential to remember that pit fires, beach fires, and bonfires are all more dangerous than normal as the dryer conditions crank up the risk factor.
Pete L'Heureux, deputy fire chief for the Swift Current Fire Department (SCFD), would like to remind people that there are some simple steps they can take to prevent fires from growing out of control.
"The bylaws specifically state that you need to have a way to extinguish the fire, which we always ask to be a hose or your garden hose out charged and ready to go," said L'Heureux. " Secondly, to only burn clean, dry wood."
Burning painted wood, wood with creosotes or other coatings are out of bounds. Bylaws also require the pit to have a grate over it. Another great tool to pair with a grate is a fire poker, to help manage the burning embers.
Even if your yard is prepared, lush and green at low risk for igniting, it's always possible for an ember to fly into a neighbour's yard, leading to disaster.
"We're always concerned with trees drying out and yards drying out," commented L'Heureux. "The thing with fire pits to remember is that the sparks that come off of your fire can go up and travel up to three yards down."
Of course, if people are having a bonfire out of town this weekend, a garden house or fire poker won't cut it. In that instance, it's about ensuring that the area is as safe as possible.
"My encouragement is always space," began L'Heureux. "Give yourself a little space around the fire pit. Remove any tripping hazards, and make sure that you've either got a burn pit built up with rocks, or maybe a steel ring. Something to protect the edge embers from jumping out."
Whenever these hot, dry conditions kick up, it's a good idea to make sure folks check for fire bans in your area, to ensure that a fine isn't part of your monthly expenses.