Smoke permeating throughout the Alberni Valley near Cherry Creek has raised some concerns from residents on social media, as well as calls to the Cherry Creek Fire Department.
In the last month, two calls to the fire department have come in in regards to open burning and smoke coming from a large property on Moore Road.
On Wednesday, a call came in to the fire department with concern that fire was spreading from burn piles on the Moore Road property to near by shrubs.
“This call was accurate, [fire] was spreading but it was within the property. It spread on the property to some brush around the burn pile,” said Lucas Banton, Cherry Creek Fire Department chief. “The other fuel—brush and what not –is isolated on the property by a dirt berm, so basically it’s an island of fuel but there’s nowhere for it to go…it’s localized to a very specific part of the property and it’s not going to spread to neighbouring properties.”
Within the last year, Banton said close to 10 calls have come in regarding this particular property. He said permits through Environment Canada are needed for open burning and that the resident at the Moore Road property does have appropriate permits.
“There’s a window of time that Environment Canada lets you burn those machine built piles and it depends on their permitting,” Banton said. “Their permitting allows it when they consider safe and it’s outside of the fire department’s authority, so unless it runs into another property or it jumps and causes problems we really can’t do anything about it.”
The Moore Road resident is one of two residents in the Cherry Creek area with authorized permits for registered burns. There are five more residents in the Beaver Creek area with these permits.
According to the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, a person who is doing the burning must follow any local government by-laws that may be in place, as well as the requirements of the Wildfire Act and Open Burning Smoke Control Regulation.