Saskatoon’s fire pit debate will be burning brightly on Monday as city council considers a registry for users and restrictions on when a backyard blaze can be lit.
In a newly-released report, the city’s fire department suggests a registry for fire pit owners would increase its ability to enforce existing bylaws in the city and to know where fire pits are located throughout the city.
At past council debates, Fire Chief Morgan Hackl has said firefighters investigating smoke complaints have had trouble pinpointing which home was having a fire.The report adds a registry application process would help teach fire pit owners about the bylaw.
It would also require owners to submit photos and measurements of their fire pits, and to acknowledge they understand rules set out in the bylaw — including a ban on burning materials like garbage and painted wood.
The fire department notes the registry wouldn’t require additional resources, and could be done either through the mail or online.
In addition to a debate on the fire department report, council will also hold a final vote on restricting backyard fires to only burning between 5 p.m. and 11 p.m.
The restrictions were proposed after several residents came forward with health concerns over excessive smoke. With the support of the Saskatchewan Lung Association, they asked for a complete ban on wood-burning fires.
The proposal for time restrictions is seen by some councillors as a compromise.
City council begins at 1 p.m. on Monday.