Eganville – With high temperatures and a drying wind, Bonnechere Valley is in a Level One fire ban with no fire permits available and all open air burning prohibited, however campfires are still allowed.
“Most of our neighbours have gone to a complete ban,” Fire Chief Dave Murphy noted. “They have also eliminated campfires.”
In Killaloe, Hagarty and Richards there is a full fire ban, brought into effect on Monday. This includes fireworks and campfires. Brudenell, Lyndoch and Raglan also has a total fire ban which includes campfires, charcoal BBQs and fireworks. Madawaska Valley also has a total fire ban.
North Algona Wilberforce Township has a level one ban like BV and has suspended all fire permits and no open-air fires are permits. Small campfires are still permitted.
According to Chief Murphy campfires are allowed in BV but with the proviso to have water nearby and never leave them unattended.
“Our campfires are mostly in campgrounds,” he explained. “They are allowed as long as people are responsible.”
Neighbouring municipalities have a lot more forests so this has created even more caution and the danger of forest fires, he explained. This is why they have gone to a total ban.
Chief Murphy said the conditions were leading up to this ban, which he brought into effect on Sunday.
“We started the spring very dry,” he said. “Now we are in a very dry situation and the wind is a drying factor.”
While the fire ban in early June may seem early to some, it is not without precedent, the chief said.
“Every year has its own challenges,” he noted.
Last week on Tuesday when speaking to a committee meeting of BV council, the chief gave an indication he might be bringing in a fire ban.
“I’ve received some emails from our neighbours and people are considering a burn ban shortly if we don’t get any rain, especially with the hot temperatures,” he told council. “It is very dry out there. The wind and warmth have dried everything out.”
He said if there was no rain the township would be going into a Level One ban.
“The indices I get from the MNRF (Ministry of Natural resources and Forestry) is all our indices are in the extreme,” he said.
Hot temperatures in the early part of the week meant a heat warning was issued for the Ottawa Valley and into Ottawa, including large parts of Eastern Ontario. Temperatures were in the mid-30s with no rain. There is the possibility of rain on Friday when the temperatures have moderated to a high of 20 unless the forecast is altered.