Northern Sunrise County appointed fire guardians at its regular council meeting on Feb. 27.

Council chose to appoint fire chief David LeBlanc and deputy fire chief Julien Bergeron to exercise the powers and duties as described in the Forest and Prairie Protection Act.

“(This is done at the beginning of fire season) to issue fire permits and carry out the responsibilities under the fire bylaw,” explains Reeve Corrina Williams.

“Chief LeBlanc and deputy chief Bergeron are the two full-time staff members of Northern Sunrise County who have the training and experience necessary to assess when fire permits should be provided or not, as well as required training under the fire bylaw.”

Williams says the County is also being proactive, realizing the region is facing extreme drought and there could be another influx of wildfires this summer.

“In response to the anticipated drought, NEW Water Ltd., is preparing a drought water management plan, as well as water management conservation strategies to share with the NEW Water Ltd. Partners and residents,” she says.

Williams notes the County has been ensuring equipment and manpower is prepared for anything that could come in upcoming months.

“There have been equipment upgrades, firefighters trained in wildland urban interface response, equipment has been prepped for early response,” Williams says.

“There has been Fire Smart planning, Fire Smart grant funding applications have been submitted and wildfire information bulletins circulated monthly. As well, our firefighters went door-to-door in the Harmon Valley area to provide information and to conduct property assessments for water sources and fire prevention strategies.”

Williams adds property owners can do things to help reduce risk on their properties and to help curb some of the danger they could face.

“Look for ways to fire smart their property and homes, ensure that they are following fire restrictions and bans, ensure that their contact information is up to date at the County office, sign-up for VoyentAlert! with the County, and follow the County website and social media sites (Facebook and

Instagram) for updated information,” says Williams.

Emily Plihal Local Journalism Initiative Reporter – South Peace News –

Original Published on Mar 06, 2024 at 10:15