Stampede straw bales must be fire safe, officials warn
Calgary fire officials say anyone decorating for Stampede must ensure that straw bales are properly treated.
"We're not just talking about a bail or two, we're talking about hundreds in some locations," said Ed Kujat, who coordinates inspections for the fire department.
"Loose straw is like having a bunch of loose papers that's easily lit on fire."
Straw bale used for decoration — if placed near public structures — must be doused with fire retardant, compressed, bound with metal wiring and dried by evaporation, according to city rules.
Stampede is a busy time for safety shop owner Randy Repas, who sells fire retardants such as Pyroguard.
"We've sold quite a bit in the last month or so," he said.