Fire bans implemented for RMs of Vanscoy, Montrose

A fire ban is now in place for the RM of Vanscoy and the RM of Montrose.
Delisle Fire Chief Mike Given said the ban, which includes the Town of Delisle, Village of Vanscoy, and hamlets of Grandora, Pike Lake, Laura and Donovan, was implemented on Thursday, May 10. It will be in effect until further notice.
“Ultimately, the decision to ban all outdoor fires, with the exception of propane barbecues and propane fire pits, is due to the extremely dry conditions,” said Given. “The fire index for the province has been in the extreme zone for a while now.
“We’ve been praying for rain, and we did get a bit of a shower; but even after that we still ended up fighting a big fire along Highway 7.”
Given said that even though there is moisture in the ground, “it’s not doing anything for the dead grass and weeds on top.”
The muddy conditions also make it very difficult for firefighters to access areas where wildfires are burning. Strong winds over the past few weeks have also contributed to the problem.
“Over the last few weeks, we’ve had five grassfires and two structure fires,” said Given. “It’s been busy.”
Given said the department has three all-terrain vehicles that are particularly valuable in fighting wildfires. Each is equipped with a 100-gallon tank with a foam attachment. The ATVs are located in three different communities: Delisle, Pike Lake and the RM of Montrose, because the Delisle and District Fire Department provides coverage to a large geographic area.
The department recently added three new rescue vehicles to its fleet.
The fire department is hosting an open house in Delisle on Saturday, May 12 beginning at 10 a.m. where the public is invited to visit the hall, meet fire department volunteer members, and learn about fire safety.