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64   COMMISSION OF CONSERVATION

stations and public road crossings in cultivated sections in the prairie provinces, instead of by personal visits of railway representatives, as in 1913.

  1.  Four-foot fire-guards made standard in grain stubble lands, instead of leaving it to the individual land owner or occupant to determine whether the guard should be four feet or eight feet in width.

  2.  Two hundred feet made the standard distance from the track for the ploughing of fire-guards in open prairie, instead of 300 feet, except that, where guards have been previously ploughed at a distance of from 200 to 400 feet from the track, they shall be maintained in the same location. This change was considered desirable, on account of previous confusion where doubt arose as to whether a particular piece of land should be regarded as fenced grazing or open prairie land, thus raising the question as to whether the fire-guard should be ploughed at a distance of 200 feet or 300 feet from the track. Also, in many cases, what is open prairie one year becomes fenced grazing land the next, thus necessitating the ploughing of a new fire-guard and the abandoning of the old, with consequent possible increase in the number of noxious weeds, which thrive on old fire-guards. Both these difficulties are overcome in the 1914 requirements.

  3.  Inclusion of requirement that where the ploughing of fire-guards in open prairie is impracticable on account of ground being too stony or rocky, or too hilly or broken to plough, the dead or dry grass and other unnecessary combustible matter shall be burned off on a strip extending 200 feet from the track. This provision is obviously necessary in order to reduce the danger of fires spreading in open prairie lands where guards cannot be ploughed, but where the dry grass would otherwise accumulate year after year until the occurrence of an accidental fire, which, under such circumstances, might assume serious proportions.

Results   On the whole,• the 1914 requirements worked very

Have Proven   satisfactorily and seemed generally acceptable, aside

Satisfactory from the feeling of the railways that they should have the right of unrestricted entrance upon fenced grazing lands for the purpose of ploughing fire-guards, instead of being compelled to follow the procedure prescribed in the requirements. A few other points have been raised, concerning which it was not possible to completely meet the sometimes conflicting points of view of the railways, but these are of a minor character and do not modify the general statement that, on the whole, the requirements have given very general satisfaction.

During 1914, specific complaints were received as follows: Damage by fire: Canadian Pacific, 4; Canadian Northern, 12; Grand Trunk Pacific, 2: total, 18. In each case the complainant was advised that


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