The City of Regina has received nine reports of people breaching its first ever fire ban, which was enacted on Friday due to tinder-dry conditions described by the city's fire marshal as the worst he's ever seen.
At 5 p.m. CST on Friday, the city enacted a total ban on fires in all fuel-burning firepits where logs and charcoal are used.
"I've never in my lifetime seen Regina this dry," said the city's fire marshal Randy Ryba.
"Grass that should have been green months ago, or weeks ago for sure, has turned brown and what was left of the green grass has now turned dormant."
Too much fuel
With fall approaching and leaves starting to drop, Ryba said there was too much fuel for the fires.
Although there is rain in the forecast for Regina this weekend, Ryba does not believe it will dampen the ground enough to end the fire ban.
"The ground is so dry that rain will be absorbed immediately and the surface will dry out," said Ryba.
"It's all about how much precipitation we get in the days and weeks moving forward and the temperatures of the day."
Repeat offenders will be ticketed
Ryba said people who breached the city's fire ban have not been fined. Instead, the city is making people put out their fires and warning them about the risks.
But Ryba said any repeat offenders would be ticketed.
He also warned Regina residents to dispose of cigarette butts carefully and be cautious about driving in vacant land on the outskirts of the city.
Anyone who wants to report a breach of the fire ban can contact Service Regina's 24-hour line at 306-777-7000.
The ban does not apply to propane or natural gas in fire pits, fire places and barbecues.