Burn ban on in Ottawa

WEST CARLETON – The Ottawa Fire Service (OFS) declared a city-wide burn ban April 1.

While weather is a factor, an important part of the burn ban is related to the OFS’ ability to respond to events during the province wide state of emergency.

“In our current state of emergency, it is important that all firefighters remain available for priority incidents,” the OFS released in a statement.

But dry flora is also a consideration.

“This is a normal time when the OFS puts in its annual burn ban,” the OFS said. “The reason for the spring-time ban is although the ground is wet in most areas, the grass, weeds and other ground foliage is dry at the tips and tops of the foliage. We have all seen grass for example, have a green color on the bottom half of the blade, but is grey/yellow in color and dry on the top half during early spring. Fire will roll, and quite rapidly along the tops of the foliage, creating a rapid expansion of a grass/brush fire.”

Access also causes a problem for firefighting vehicles this time of year.

“The other reason for a spring ban is simply due to the fact fire and brush trucks in most cases cannot enter a field or properties that are muddy, soft and soaked due to the spring thaw,” the OFS said. “We have many challenges of getting to grass/brush fires since our trucks are heavy, and they inevitably can get stuck.”

Once the conditions improve, the ban will be lifted.