Smoke on the northern edge of St. Albert will still mean fire, but residents need not sound the alarm next week.
The fire department is planning live fire exercises on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday as part of the training for this year’s fire department recruit class.
The exercises are scheduled to take place between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. at the city-owned Badger lands on the northern edges of the city, north of Villeneuve Road.
Les Mroz, chief training officer for the fire department, said the training is a vital part of getting the recruits ready for their duties.
“It is valuable training, it is necessary training and the benefit is, ultimately, our guys will be well served to serve the citizens.”
He said they are planning to monitor the wind closely so they don’t end up sending plumes of smoke into residential neighbourhoods near the burn site.
“We don’t want to see any smoke drifting over residential neighbourhoods,” he said. “We want to be the good neighbour.”
Mroz said the recruits are going to face a variety of challenges during the training.
“Traditionally, with all other recruit classes we have done live fire training with either dumpster fires or brush fires, or in some cases we have a had a structure we could burn.”
The fire department hopes that by letting people know in advance they can minimize the amount of calls about smoke.
“There will be people potentially that are driving by who are not aware of the training and will call in, but we are anticipating that.”