Homeowner could face fine for illegal burn

PUSLINCH – A resident  here could be facing $1,500 in fines after an illegal burn saw the Puslinch fire department pay a visit on Jan. 8.

Interim chief Brad Bigrigg said a call came in around 3:20pm last Saturday for a fire at a home on Sideroad 10 North.

He said three trucks – two rescues and one tanker – arrived at the home to find a controlled burn underway but the homeowner did not have a burn permit.

“Property loss is zero,” Bigrigg said. “But the owner will likely receive an invoice and probably a bylaw charge.”

Bigrigg said municipalities are allowed to invoice a homeowner to recover the costs of these kinds of nuisance fire calls.

He said the Ministry of Transportation sets the rates the municipality can invoice – generally about $500 per responding vehicle ($1,500 in this case).

“We’re still verifying the paperwork,” he said. “Fire prevention will follow up [with the homeowner].”

Burn permits can be purchased from the township online and cost between $25 and $50 a year. Bigrigg said permits come with conditions – like not to burn near fuel or on windy days – but are low-cost and easy to get.

As well as getting permits, Bigrigg said the fire department is reminding residents they must have working smoke alarms and CO detectors in their homes.

“And be careful with space heaters,” he added. “Turn them off when you leave the room.”