Fire Guards

Res #: 12-02A
Number: 12
Year: 2002
Midterm: No
Expired: Yes
Responses Received: No
Departments: Saskatchewan Government Relations

Resolution 12-02A

WHEREAS, some municipalities are very concerned about the risk of prairie fires that non-grazed or uncut long dry grasses present; andWHEREAS, neither The Rural Municipal Act, 1989, nor The Prairie and Forest Fire Act give rural municipalities specific authority to direct the owners of such lands to create or maintain satisfactory  fire guards to prevent  the spread of fires, whether or not a fire is burning, through such tracts of land;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that SARM lobby the Provincial Government to make changes to The Rural Municipality Act, 1989, to (i) authorize municipalities to require landowners who control such lands to create and maintain satisfactory fire guards, whether or not a fire is burning, and (ii) to authorize the municipalities to do the work itself should the person responsible not do so and to deal with the costs of the same as with other custom work.

Response From the Hon. Ron Osika:

GR believes authority already exists within both of the referenced Acts to enable a rural municipality to require the creation and maintenance of fireguards and/or breaks. However, GR will obtain a legal opinion from Saskatchewan Justice on the issue.

It will also be necessary to determine whether sufficient authority exists to enable cost recovery by the municipality in the event the municipality undertakes to do the work itself and if authority does exist what the appropriate method should be.