The fire ban for the City of Medicine Hat has been partially lifted, announced in a press release on Friday.
“Due to the recent cooler weather and precipitation that we’ve received and precipitation that’s in the forecast, we’ve partially lifted the ban so that people can use their backyard fire pit,” said Brian Stauth, fire chief for the city, on Friday.
He reminded residents that private fire pits are still required to have permits.
“Fire pit permits are available from Medicine Hat Fire and Emergency Services,” states the press release. “To apply for a fire pit permit, visit the City website.”
Stauth went on to note more public places that fire pits are now open for use, including Gas City Campground, Kin Coulee Park, Lions Park and Central Park.
“The ones that we are allowing are located in areas where there’s irrigated, manicured grass,” said Stauth. “The irrigation is caught up, the grass is green, the fire risk is low.”
However, there are some public fire pits not available for use due to heightened risk factors.
“Echo Dale Regional Park is allowed, except for the fire pit at the far east end in the group campground,” said Stauth. “We are also not allowing fires in the fire pits at Strathcona Island Park. In Strathcona Island Park, the fire pits are located right next to a natural area; that is the same as the fire pit at the east end of Echo Dale Regional Park, right next to a real dry, natural area, so we’re not going to allow those as of yet.”
He also outlined precautions that should be taken when people do have fires.
“We’re going to ask folks to keep in mind that it’s still quite dry,” said Stauth. “Have water nearby to extinguish your fire when you’re done and extinguish it completely. We’re asking that you keep your fires small.”
Charcoal barbeque use is now permitted as well.
LAUREN THOMSON, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Medicine Hat News