The fire ban in Cochrane has been downgraded to a fire advisory and open fires are once again allowed in backyards and at approved sites in town.

Fire Inspector Jeff Avery says we have received some moisture, but not near enough. Cochrane Fire Services continues to advise people to use caution.

"We definitely needed this moisture, so that's a good thing, but we're still asking people to use extreme caution because even with a couple of days of rain, we need a lot more," says Avery.

"If you are having a backyard fire, just use caution, make sure it's completely out, and if you are at one of the sites that are approved to have a fire in the Town of Cochrane, just make sure everything is completely out when you leave."

While the Cochrane area is expecting more rain this week, Environment Canada is forecasting temperatures to return to the high 20s, and low 30s next week.

He says the hazard level could once again climb depending upon the conditions.

"It may return to a fire ban at the end of the month, but we'll have to wait and see."

There's more to determining the fire hazard than precipitation, he explains.

"There's ground moisture, there's top moisture, the wind... there are all kinds of different things that go into this. It's definitely not something that we just say, hey, it's time for a fire ban. We take everything into consideration before we make a decision."

At this point, a fire ban remains in effect in Rocky View County.

Burning is prohibited and all burning licenses are stopped during a fire advisory, with the following exceptions:

  • Indoor household fireplaces
  • Incinerators (for farm and acreage use)
  • Burning barrels
  • Camp stoves (properly attended)
  • Barbecues (charcoal briquettes, propane, or natural gas)
  • Wood pellet grills
  • Propane/natural gas fire pit
  • Recreational campfires in an approved burn pit
  • Chimeneas
  • Fires contained within approved facilities and appliances in designated camping and recreational areas
  • Oil well flaring