A County of Newell Fire Permit is FREE of charge and MANDATORY to have if you plan on doing any burning.

The County of Newell Bylaw 1839-15, cited as the Fire Bylaw, regulates burning within the County of Newell boundaries. Sections 16 & 20 of this bylaw states, “No person shall light an Incinerator Fire, Outdoor Fire or a Structure Fire unless he/she is the holder of a subsisting Fire Permit if required under this Bylaw or the Forest and Prairie Protection Act, or both” and “No person shall light an Outdoor Fire, a Structure Fire an Incinerator Fire or a Recreational Fire Pit Fire without first taking sufficient precaution to ensure that the fire can be kept under control at all times or when the weather conditions are conducive to creating a Running Fire”. Failure to comply can result in fines as stated in Sections 23 and 24 of this Bylaw “Any person who fails to hold a subsisting Fire Permit, when one is required under this Bylaw, is guilty of an offense and is liable to a fine of $200.00 on a summary conviction for the first offense in any calendar year; to a fine of $400.00 on summary conviction for the second offense in any calendar year; and a fine of $600.00 on summary conviction for the third and each subsequent offense in any calendar year” and “A person who fails to comply with any provision contained in this Bylaw, except for failure to hold a subsisting Fire Permit which is otherwise provided for under Section 23 of this Bylaw, is guilty of an offense and is liable on conviction to a fine of not less than $1,000.00 and not more than $2,500.00.

The Forest and Prairie Protection Act provides for fines in the amount of $5,000.00 currently and proposed changes to this Act will provide for fines up to $100,000.00 for an individual and $1,000,000.00 for a Corporation.

Fire Permits can be obtained from a Fire Guardian. Fire Guardians are located at the County of Newell office and some of the local area Fire Chiefs. Your first choice should always be the County of Newell office which can be done in person or by calling 403-362-3266 . In future we hope to have on-line permits available. A Fire Guardian may impose other conditions upon the applicant or suspend or cancel a permit at any time. A Fire Permit needs to be countersigned by a Guardian before it is valid.

Burning Conditions are as follows with no exceptions:

  • Call your local Fire Department (the number will be listed on your permit) and 1-877-507-7011 (Fire Permit Line) before AND after burning.
  • Supervise the burn at all times and extinguish if conditions warrant.
  • Keep an adequate supply of water on site at all times. •No burning at night, all fires are to be completely extinguished prior to dark.
  • Smoke must not impede visibility on roadways.
  • No burning if winds exceed 15 km/hr, including gusts.

What You Can Not Burn

  • Animal waste
  • Rubber inc. Tires
  • Oil
  • Pathological waste
  • Plastic, inc. bailer twine
  • Pesticide/chemical pails
  • Wood products containing preservatives
  • Waste materials from construction sites
  • Plastic or rubber coated materials
  • Any waste that causes dense smoke, offensive odours or releases toxic substances


Wildfire Alberta

How to Estimate Wind Speed

0 – 1 km/h (Calm)                                   Smoke rises vertically; no visible wind

2 – 5 km/h (Light Air)                              Smoke drifts; no visible wind; direction of wind shown by smoke drift but not by wind vanes

6 – 10 km/r (Light Breeze)                      Leaves rustle; weather vanes move; wind felt on face

11 – 19 km/h (Gentle Breeze)                 Light flags unfurl; leaves and twigs on trees move steadily

20 – 28 km/h (Moderate Breeze)            Small branches move; loose dust and paper fly about

29 – 38 km/h (Fresh Breeze)                  Leafy shrubs and trees sway; crested wavelets form on inland waters

39 – 49 km/h (Strong Breeze)                 Large branches in motion; whistling heard in overhead wires; umbrellas used with difficulty

50 – 61 km/h (Moderate Gale)                Whole trees in motion; inconvenience felt when walking against wind

62 – 74 km/h (Fresh Gale)                      Breaks twigs off trees; generally impedes progress

75 – 88 km/h (Strong Gale)                     Slight structural damage occurs (e.g. TV antennas and tiles)

89 – 100 km/h (Whole Gale)                    Trees uprooted; considerable structural damage