Nearly 20 fire permit suspensions handed out since July

Nearly 20 fire permit suspensions handed out since July
SooToday.com

Sault Ste. Marie Fire Services says that the fire ban imposed by the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) is still in effect in the municipality of Sault Ste. Marie until it hears anything different.   

“Anytime the Ministry of Natural Resources imposes a fire ban, we have to follow,” said Sault Ste. Marie Fire Services public education officer Aaron Gravelle. “We’re bound by their jurisdiction." 
 
“They usually tell us when they’ve had enough rain and they can lift the ban, but so far, they haven’t reached out to us.”
 
Nearly 20 fire permit suspensions have been handed out by the city's fire department since the open-air burning ban went into effect July 6.
 
Suspensions generally last for 90 days, and can also be accompanied by a fine in some instances. 
 
Gravelle says that the city has been using media releases, a digital sign board and paid advertisements on social media to let people know that the ban remains in effect until further notice. 
 
“It definitely has gotten better," Gravelle said. "We haven’t been giving out as many in the past week or so, but there are still people, for some reason, who aren’t aware that there is a burn ban in effect.”
 
“We’ve been really trying to put out the word that you can’t burn during this time.”
 
There are currently 44 forest fires burning in the northeast region, 18 of which are not under control. 
 
The public can contact Sault Ste. Marie Fire Services at 705-949-9898 or visit the city's website for more information regarding open-air burning.