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Foothills Fire Department Releases a Revised and Updated Online Burn Permit Application

HIGH River, Alberta – June 26, 2018 – Media Advisory - pdf

The Foothills Fire Department is pleased to announce that they have released a newly revised and updated online Burn Permit application accessible at mdfoothills.com

“This new process for issuing Burn Permits online has greatly increased the accessibility and accountability for residents burning,” says Jim Smith, Fire Chief. “Plus it will allow us to manage the burns and collect statistics for future planning. We know who and where permitted burns are taking place at the time of the burn.”

Receiving approval to burn with a burn permit is a quicker process now. The Fire Department utilizes an app which allows them to respond immediately, or at most within a few hours of the submission.  The permitting process is monitored by the department on a 24/7 basis.

The new online burn permit application process replaces the Fire Guardian system. Foothills County and the Foothills Fire Department have had a long and successful working history with Fire Guardians who have been an invaluable resource.  For any residents who are unable to access the online Burn Permit application, they may apply in person at the Heritage Pointe Fire Station for a burn permit or call the station at 403-603-3571.

A significant benefit of the new burn permit process is that it will facilitate a faster implementation of Fire Burning Bans. It will notify residents who have an active burn permit of any Fire Bans or restrictions, directly to their cell phones.  Plus, the new Burn Permit system will notify residents with active permits to extinguish their burns at 10 pm each night.

The new updated Burn Permit process now has two classifications for burning permits.
Class 1 is for small burns, less than 10 x 10 X 5
Class 2 is for large burns, any area that is 10’ X 10’ X 5’ or larger.

Small residential fire pits and burn barrels do not require a burn permit if they have a spark screen on top. For all other fires, burning permits are required year round in Foothills County.

Fire Department

Provincial Fire Bans

Foothills County Fire Advisory in Effect

April 22, 2022 - Fire Advisory in Place

See here for details







Burning Permits and Fireworks Permits

Online Permit Application

Start Online Burn Permit 

Burning Permits

Open fires are allowed by obtaining a burning permit online or in person at the Heritage Pointe Fire Station or call the station at 403-603-3571.
Burning barrels with screen covers and located on non combustible surfaces will also be allowed. Caution is to be observed with any fire.

Fireworks Permits 

A fireworks permit is required for the Sale, Poessession, Handling, and Discharge of fireworks within Foothills County. 

Online Fire Burning Permit Application

Start Online Burn Permit

Burning & Fireworks Permits and  Regulations:

Burning Permits are for clean/dry wood ONLY!


  • Tires - Plastics - Household Garbage - Paint Cans - Used Motor Oil - Furniture - Treated Products.
  • Prohibited debris includes, but is not limited to, the above items.

Burning Regulations:

  1. Fire permits are required year round in Foothills County.
  2. The fire must be set at the time and place indicated on the permit.
  3. The number of fires set at one time and minimum equipment needed may be specified on the permit.
  4. A fire permit is a legal document which conditionally authorized a person to burn Class A materials (wood/paper) at a time specified on the permit. By obtaining a fire permit you have simply indicated you wish to burn.
  5. The responsibility for conducting a safe burn is yours. Anyone who sets a fire under authority of a permit must comply with the following requirements and conditions.
  6. See Burning Permits & Regulations Brochure above.

Burning Permit Conditions

  1. Fire must be supervised at all times by a responsible adult.
  2. No burning is permitted when winds exceed 12 km/hr or are gusting.
  3. Suitable fire extinguishing equipment to be located at site.
  4. The 911 Dispatch Centre @ 1-888-808-3722 must be notified approximately one (1) hour prior to burn taking place.
  5. No burning is permitted between the night hours of 10:00 pm and 7:00 am unless a special permit has been issued by Foothills County.
  6. Only Class A combustibles are to be burned (clean wood/paper products).
  7. An accurate description of the size and the type of combustibles must be given to the Foothills Fire Department when applying for a permit.
  8. Any breach of the above conditions renders the permit null and void.

Burning Permits

  1. Other than campfires and Municipally approved incinerators, any person lighting a fire for any purpose must have a valid fire permit.
  2. Get your Burning Permit online here.
  3. Burning permits are valid for 5 days from the date of issue. If conditions warrant, permits may be cancelled at any time. Extensions may be granted under a new permit number, provided the required conditions can be met.
  4. As a condition of the burning permit you must inform the 911 Dispatch Centre @ 1-888-808-3722 one (1) hour prior to commencing burning.
  5. When disposing of a building or structure by burning, the building or structure must first be demolished. The burning of tires, plastic wastes or other toxic noxious materials or substances is not permitted.

The Municipal Fire Chief, may suspend or cancel all permits or prohibit the lighting of fires in any part or all of Foothills County with a Fire Ban. The general public is notified of Fire Bans via local news media, this website, Facebook and Twitter.  When permits are suspended or cancelled and fires are prohibited, all fires ignited under the authority of a burning permit must be extinguished immediately.

Guidelines For Use Of Burning Barrel Incinerators

  1. Incinerator to be installed on a non-combustible base, positioned so as not to endanger other combustible materials or structures.
  2. Incinerator to be fitted with a tight meshed spark arrester screen (7 mm mesh)(1/4").
  3. Burning is not recommended when winds exceed 12 km/hr or are gusting.
  4. A means of extinguishing the fire must be on site during operation of incinerator.
  5. The person using the incinerator is responsible for its safe operation. If in doubt, contact Foothills County Fire Chief.

Agricultural Land Regulations

Special regulations must be followed by those who have a fire permit to burn brush or debris after land clearing or other agricultural activities.

Burning Agricultural Land

If you are burning Agricultural lands (range/pasture, swaths or stubble), the Agricultural Fieldman or Assistant Agricultural Fieldman must be contacted 48 hours in advance of the burn.

Call: 403-652-2423

  1. No fire shall be ignited for broadcast burning of grass or stubble without first obtaining a fire permit from the Fire Department at 403-603-3571.
  2. Windrows of debris must be no more than 60 metres in length.
  3. The area being burned must be completely surrounded by a guard cleared of combustible material to a width of not less than 15 metres.
  4. No windrow shall be closer than 25 metres to uncleared land or standing combustible fuels.
  5. Parallel windrows must be separated by not less than 15 metres.
  6. Every fire must be supervised and controlled by a responsible person or persons.
  7. The minimum amount of equipment required on site:
    - cultivation equipment as directed in permit
    - one barrel of at least 200 litres of water
    - one water backpack and hand pail or four heavy sacks; and
    - two (2) round mouth shovels and one axe

Reduce your chances of having a fire get out of control by checking these precautions:

  1. Ensure that your fire guards are wide enough and cleared to prevent sparks from your fire. Large fires can carry sparks over a considerable distance.
  2. Have required tools ready at the fire site and enough portable water to control fire if required. Even for a small single pile you should have a shovel and water available.
  3. If you have any brush piles, burn only as much as you can keep under control. Check to see if any neighbors will be available to assist you if you require emergency assistance.
  4. Do not start to burn under windy or gusty conditions. Whenever possible, plan your burn for early in the day. You will get good burning time if you start at 7:00 am and burn through until 10:00 pm. When your burn is completed, speed up any final extinguishing by dispersing any smoldering ash or accumulation of burned debris.
  5. Fires can remain dormant in large piles for long periods and usually surface when fire hazard conditions are extreme. Persistent hot spots left to burn out must be well guarded. When the weather gets dry, any holdover fire must be extinguished. Continue to check completed burning projects to be sure no holdover fires are present.
  6. One of the most serious burning problems is caused by hold over fires when it is assumed they are out.


For information about wildfire - Province of Alberta Wildife Website

Fireworks Permit Key Points

Fireworks Permit Application Site 

This permit is for discharging fireworks ONLY within Foothills County. Foothills County CANNOT issue a permit to discharge fireworks within other municipalities. When a permit is issued it is the responsibility of the permit holder to know the regulations for purchasing, possessing and discharging.

Here are a few important points you need to know:

  • This permit is for the discharge of consumer fireworks on residential property only.  Your permit WILL NOT be approved if your discharge area is over roadways or public property.
  • You must be a minimum of 18 years old to apply for this permit.
  • You must be the property owner or have written permission from the property owner to discharge fireworks.
  • You must have a water source available to you when discharging your fireworks. This includes but is not limited to, a minimum of 3 gallons of water and or a garden hose, or a fire extinguisher on site when you discharge your fireworks. 
  • You are encouraged to submit your application a minimum of 7 business days prior to the discharge date.  
  • To ensure a fun but safe family fireworks display, it is important that simple safety procedures are followed.
  • There is no charge for this permit.

For more information on the safe discharge of fireworks visit: https://www.nrcan.gc.ca/explosives/fireworks/9905

Click here to view the Foothills County Fireworks Bylaw

Discharge area: 

This is where you will set up and discharge your fireworks.  You must have the clearance space on the product’s manufacturing instructions, with no buildings, tents, trailers, canvas shelters, trees, flammable or combustible substance, or motor vehicles in this area. This is found on the label of all federally authorized consumer firework products.

Spectator area: 

The area required for spectators is necessary to ensure that all spectators maintain a safe distance. Safe spectator distances are listed on each individual consumer product and must be followed.