Some Edmonton residents are not willing to let a fire ban — and the threat of a nearby wildfire the size of their city — stop them from their wiener roasts.
Since Thursday, Edmonton Fire and Rescue has responded to 174 complaints of people lighting backyard fires, according to Global News.
The entire province and the City of Edmonton are under a fire ban, due to extremely dry, hot and windy conditions.
Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson said resources and firefighters are already spread thin.
“I would hope that what would get people to wise up here is that the last thing they want to do is cause a disaster like we’ve seen affect our neighbours in Fort McMurray,” Iveson told the broadcaster.
A number of brush fires were reported in the tinder-dry city on Sunday, including one that damaged three homes in the neighbourhood of Wolf Willow.
As of Tuesday morning, there are 25 wildfires burning in the province and over 1,500 firefighters working to stop them.
City Coun. Michael Oshry said he is shocked by the disregard some residents seem to be showing for the danger of the situation.
“It’s astonishing, given what’s going on in Alberta right now, that this would not be at the forefront of anyone’s mind. But I’m not sure what we can do, short of hammering some common sense into people’s skulls,” Oshry told the Edmonton Journal.
Officials want residents to know it's crucial they respect the ban. That means no open fires, extreme caution when discarding cigarettes or using off road vehicles and calling 911 if you spot flames or smoke.
“It’s astonishing, given what’s going on in Alberta right now, that this would not be at the forefront of anyone’s mind."
“We don’t put a fire ban in lightly,” Alberta wildfire information officer Travis Fairweather told Metro News.
“We definitely put a lot of thought and look at all the conditions and it’s a tough decision to make, because we don’t want to spoil people’s fun,” he said.
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