Tuesday, June 21, 2022

City sees increase of improper fire pit use, issues reminder of bylaws

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The City of Lethbridge says Fire and Emergency Services has seen an increase in calls related to burning prohibited materials and using an improper or improperly distanced fire pit in the past few months. It issued a reminder to residents to ensure they are using fire pits safely as the weather continues warming up.

“A majority of reports originate as an outside fire or smoke in the area with limited information and are therefore treated as emergencies.” reads a news release from the city. “The response impacts available resources, taking crews out of service until the danger can be assessed and resolved.”

Burning can only take place in designated fire pits, at least 1.5 metres away from any structure or combustable material, according to a city bylaw. It also states only clean, dry, untreated wood can be burned. Fires must be supervised at all times with a means of extinguishment on hand, flames cannot exceed one metre in height and no burning is permitted if winds exceed 30 km/h, the city says.

Violating bylaw #5858 can result in fines ranging from $150–$200.

“It is the responsibility of homeowners who are operating a rental property to ensure that tenants adhere to the bylaw,” the news release says. “If a violation is observed and the identity of the tenant cannot be determined, the Lethbridge Fire and Emergency Services will ticket the owner/landlord.”

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