Caution during winter burning emphasized

Richard Froese
South Peace News

The lower fire hazard in winter means it is generally a safer time to consider winter burning outdoors, says the Peace River Forest Area wildfire information officer.

“However you should still take safety precautions, such as monitoring the weather to ensure smoke from your burn won’t negatively impact surrounding areas,” Crystal Burrows says in an e-mail Jan. 8.

“On particularly cold winter days, inversions and other weather factors can cause smoke from a winter burn to stay close to the ground and travel great distances.”

An inversion occurs when cold air is trapped near the ground by a layer of warmer air above it.

“Inversions can cause dangerous driving conditions and impact nearby communities,” Burrows says.

“Please refrain from burning when an inversion is in place or has been forecasted.”

Actively manage burn projects to reduce disposal time and smoke impacts.

Burning debris in stages will allow you to adapt to changing weather conditions and reduce smoke.

Always ensure proper safety precautions are taken when burning and appropriate signage is in place when burning within a mile of a roadway.

Always take the safety concerns that may arise from smoke into consideration.

Consult local municipalities and authorities on how to mitigate impacts when undertaking larger winter burning projects near communities or road ways.

For safety tips for driving in smoky areas, visit the Alberta Transportation website.

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