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Current Fire Ban Status - No Restriction

Fire Permits are required year round for open burning anywhere in the county. Safe campfires are allowed without a permit in approved backyard fire pits, campgrounds and backcountry or random camping areas. Apply for a current Fire Permit online or see one of our Fire Guardians at the Town of Tofield, Beaver County Office, Village of Ryley, Town of Holden, Bruce Shell, BESC Head Quarters or 50th Street Auto in Viking.

Fire Hazard Risk Status - Moderate

The Fire Hazard is MODERATE in Beaver County. Wildfires can start from most accidental causes and spread moderately through dry brush and grasses.Ground crews should be able to contain a wildfire with minimal support from heavy equipment and aircraft.
Wildfires not suppressed immediately can still become expensive to extinguish later.

About Beaver Emergency Services


Welcome to Beaver Emergency Services Commission

The Beaver Emergency Services Commission is a regional partnership between the towns of Tofield, Viking, villages of Holden, Ryley and Beaver County, Alberta for set up for the administration and delivery of fire and emergency management services. Commission headquarters are located in Viking, Alberta in the lower level of the Town Office.

The Beaver Emergency Services Commission manages the administration and oversees operations of volunteer fire departments in each of the towns of Tofield and Viking, the villages of Ryley and Holden, and the hamlets of Bruce and Kinsella. Fire Department operations in each of the towns and villages are managed by a District Fire Chief and many dedicated volunteer firefighters.

The Beaver Emergency Services Commission (BESC) is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Mike Hoffman as the new Regional Emergency Manager

Following a number of recent changes designed to continue moving the BESC forward and set the Commission up as a model and leader for regional emergency standards and service delivery, and on behalf of the Commission Board of Directors, we are happy to announce Mr. Mike Hoffman as the new Regional Emergency Manager. Mr. Hoffman will officially begin in the role on December 1st, and he looks forward to meeting both new and familiar faces as he works together with the Board of Directors, the Fire Chiefs and their volunteer teams, Emergency Services Personnel throughout the region, as well as the administrative staff at BESC.

We have been fortunate to have had the assistance and direction of Mr. Al Harvey over the past year to guide us through day-to-day operations and strategy implementation including the recommendations from the recent ERMC Risk and Organizational Report. Mr. Hoffman looks forward to continuing the momentum that has been achieved.

As a long serving and active volunteer, Mr. Hoffman spent much of his life and career in the Beaver County area, and he brings a diverse background and set of experiences to this newly rebranded role. Having spent more than 30 years as a volunteer firefighter, while working concurrently in a leadership capacity with MacEwan University, Mr. Hoffman brings first-hand experience and knowledge to the functional areas of emergency response including training and facilitation, program development and implementation, and understanding safety codes. He served with the Viking Fire & Rescue Department beginning in the early 1980’s, and was promoted in 2008 to the Volunteer Fire & Rescue Chief for his final five years. Mr. Hoffman then pursued another opportunity with the Heart & Stroke Foundation where he spearheaded both provincial and national programs. In this role, he continued to hone his leadership, budgeting, and overall administrative skills, while working with a diverse client base which included local, provincial, and federal governments, various provincial agencies across Canada, elected officials, and the general public.

Mr. Hoffman has crafted a successful and long standing career in many different roles within emergency management. The Board is confident that he brings the right mix of experience, leadership, temperament, and a familiarity with the region which will be a valuable asset to the BESC moving forward.

Mr. Hoffman is excited to relocate back to Beaver County and begin working with all the key stakeholders in the region to make the BESC the gold standard in regional emergency services and delivery and increase the profile of the organization. On behalf of the BESC, please join us in welcoming Mike Hoffman.

Board Chairman Kevin Smook

Before you Burn

Burning Basics

While burning may be the simplest way to clean up a site. you may be breaking the law. Open burning, in a barrel or not, can release pollutants, reduce visibility, create unpleasant odors and cause toxic contamination. With this in mind, burning can still be an effective way to clean some of the debris from your yard, farm or work site. However, you should keep in mind that under the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act, burning certain materials is illegal.

What You Can Burn

Burnable debris includes:

  • Brush and fallen trees
  • Used power and telephone poles that do not contain preservatives
  • Wood or wood products not containing preservatives
  • Solid waste from tree harvesting
  • Straw, stubble, grass, weeds, leaves and tree prunings
  • Solid waste from post and pole operations that does not contain wood preservatives

What You Can’t Burn

Prohibited debris includes:

  • Animal manure
  • Pathological waste (waste from human health centres)
  • Wood or wood products containing wood preservatives
  • Waste materials from construction sites
  • Rubber, including tires
  • Plastic, including baler twine
  • Oil
  • Containers that held pesticides, or any other chemicals
  • Plastic or rubber-coated materials, including copper wire

Remember to Recycle

  • Many items that you may consider burning can be recycled.
  • Plastic, paper, cardboard and metal materials, used oil, tires and beverage containers along with many other items are recycled in Alberta. Call the Recycle Info Line at 1-800-463-8320 for local information.
  • It’s often more effective to chip and compost yard waste. Composting reduces household waste by up to 30 per cent.

Fire PitBurning in your Backyard!

Within municipal areas (Towns, Villages and Hamlets) in Beaver County the burning of debris is not permitted. Municipal residents are allowed to construct a fire pit or an approved burning device after obtaining a permit from the Beaver Emergency Services Commission. Approved fire pits or burning devices are to be used only for recreational purposes and/or for cooking food. The materials to be burned are restricted to "clean", untreated wood. No paper, leaves, yard trimmings or garbage may be burned.


Construction guidelines are available here or at the Beaver Emergency Services offices.

Fire Pit PlacementFire Pit Construction

Apply online for a permit to construct a fire pit.

Applications for a permit to construct a burning device are available for no charge either online or from the Beaver Emergency Services Commission offices. Call 780-336-3041 for more information. A FIre Permit is not required to burn wood in an approved burning device.

Open burning in your backyard or burning in a device that has not been issued a permit can result in penalties from $500.00 to $5000.00.

Complaints regarding offensive odours from the burning of prohibited debris should be directed to ALBERTA ENVIRONMENT POLLUTION CONTROL, 1-800-222-6514


Volunteers Needed!

We need you! Through unwavering vigilance, rigorous training and unquestionable dedication, the Volunteer Firefighters of BESC work to serve and ensure the safety of every person in the county.

Local Links

www.vbfcss.com Viking Family Community Support Services

www.fcss-trbc.com Tofield Family Community Support Services

Viking Medical Clinic - Kalyna County Primary Care Network

Safety Links

Safety Tips - Alberta Fire Commissioner

Fire Protection - NFPA

Fire Safety - Alberta Emergency Management

Senior Safety - Finding Balance Campaign


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