Every spring and fall, local fire departments are often called out to several grass fires. This year has been no different according to Lacombe Fire Department Chief, Dennis Cole.

“For the city, we've only had a couple but within the county, I know there's been probably a couple dozen so far,” said Cole who added that it is nice to see grass turning green.

He says that most grass fires start from improperly discarded cigarette butts.  

“One of the biggest culprits that we find when it comes to grass fires this time of year is discarded cigarette butts.  People get into the habit over the winter of just popping them out the window not realizing now that it is extremely dry out. We just want to make sure that people are more vigilant on that stuff than like anything they're doing out in the fields, working with equipment, machinery and just ensure that everything is kept clean and clear of any debris and anything that could cause a spark,” said Cole.

Trains can also start grass fires from but Cole says that’s a little bit less common.

“It can happen if it has happened in the past, it's usually pretty infrequently happening. Every now and then, you will get some sparks thrown from the train wheels contacting the rails themselves and they could end up lining up. Usually, CN and CP do a good job at controlling the vegetation beside the rail beds just so that doesn't happen,” said Cole.

Other than ensuring your cigarette butts are safely discarded, and keeping equipment clean, Cole says another way of preventing grass fires is practicing general fire safety.

“Just be aware that it is that season and just be very cautious on what you're doing. Even when it comes to people using backyard fire pits within the city, just make sure that you follow the regulations that are set out for that and keep your flame low, make sure it's covered with a good spark arresting cover and always have a water supply on hand close by,” he added.