The Town of Erin Fire and Emergency Services is reporting an increase in grass and rubbish fires, with 14 incidents reported so far in 2021, compared to only two in 2020 and four in 2019.
Erin fire chief and director of emergency services, Jim Sawkins, attributed the jump to an increased interest in yard maintenance on the part of people stuck at home because of the pandemic.
“I would say it’s COVID, they’re getting to cleaning up their yards and so forth,” Sawkins told council when asked about the increase. “The reality of it is that they’re not supposed to be burning the brush. That's not part of the bylaw.”
The fourteen incidents reported so far in 2021 represent a combination of complaints by neighbours about illegal burning and also rubbish and brush fires that have gotten out of hand and required fire department response, Sawkins said.