Controlled burn bill settled

Stettler County sign - south entrance. (Terri Huxley/ECA Review)
Written by Terri Huxley

Council approved paying 50 per cent of a $1,020 bill to JD Johnson after a delegation spoke to the issue. Council began their first meeting of the year on Jan. 14, 2020,

On June 4, 2019, Johnson, his wife and two of their hired men were out setting flax piles on fire at one of their pieces of land.

They had disked the stubble in the fall which was a ‘bit damp’ where the flax would catch and pile up.

They tried to harrow it again in the spring and then speed disk it which didn’t work either.

“The only other option was to heavy disk it and that would take too much time and it would make too much mess so we decided to go ahead and seed so I hope that demonstrates that the piles were not that big,” began Johnson.

A fire permit was issued previously for them to solve the buildup that had accumulated.

It was reported that at approximately 11:45 a.m., a black SUV pulled in and drove back out of the field only to have fire trucks arrive 15 minutes later to put out the piles the farmer had set.

They were later given a $1,020 bill for the services.

Council previously looked at this issue in November and turned down any sort of compensation at the time as they felt they needed more information on the situation.

Members of the fire department were in attendance as part of the delegation to give their side of the story.

One slough caught fire near the burn piles but Johnson was not phased by it as it would help with slough grass management.

The fire department shared that whether a burn permit is given or not, they will still respond if it is called in to ensure safety and mitigation as they could be liable if it re-ignites.

“So was it necessary to have three trucks to put out every single little fire we started? Seems like it was a bit overkill,” said Sandra Johnson.

Green warning lights for firefighters

Council considered an amendment to the General Traffic Bylaw that would allow firefighters and emergency medical personnel to use green warning lights or ‘courtesy’ lights on personal vehicles when they are responding to an incident.

Yielding right of way to vehicles with warning lights is a courtesy.

Council readily passed all three readings to enact this.

Lighting contract awarded

Proposals have been received to retrofit the lighting throughout the County of Stettler Administration Building.

The contract was awarded to Stettler Electric for $32,550. Delivery for all the right lighting will take six to eight weeks but will be installed upon delivery.

Other news

Council has approved the County of Stettler will continue to provide administration services to the Village of Gadsby as per the new contract until the Provincial Cabinet has set a date to consider the dissolution.

At the regular meeting, they also purchased four new graders for smoother operations.


Terri Huxley

ECA Review

About the author

Terri Huxley

Terri grew up on a grain farm near Drumheller, Alberta with an eye for the beautiful and uncharted. Living in such a unique and diverse area has helped her become the photographer and reporter she is today.

Coming from the East Central region getting this newspaper on her dinner table growing up, it helped her understand the community she now serves.

In May 2019, Terri was awarded Alberta Weekly Newspaper Association (AWNA) Canada's Energy Citizens Photographic Awards Sports Action – First Place as well as first for the same sports action image nationally with the Canadian Community Newspaper Association (CCNA). Fast forward to 2020, she has won second in the same category for the AWNA.