With warmer spring evenings and summer nights just around the corner, the Lethbridge Fire and Emergency Services is reminding residents with fire pits to ensure they are being used safely in line with the open burning bylaw.
Over the past few months there has been an increase in the number of calls for crews to respond to issues related to fire pits. Most of these calls have involved burning prohibited materials or using an improper or improperly distanced fire pit. A majority of reports originate as an outside fire or smoke in the area with limited information and are therefore treated as emergencies. The response impacts available resources, taking crews out of service until the danger can be assessed and resolved.
Under Open Burning Bylaw #5858, burning can only take place in a designated fire pit or fire place located at least 1.5 metres away from any structure or other combustible material. 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 meter in height and no burning is permitted if winds exceed 30 km/h.
Those who violate the bylaw will receive a fine ranging between $150 to $200 depending on the offence.
It is the responsibility of homeowners who are operating a rental property to ensure that tenants adhere to the bylaw. 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.
For more information about the rules around open burning, specifically regarding fire pits the full bylaw is available online.