Fire Pit Bylaw Making a Difference

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There were fewer complaints about fire pits following last year’s bylaw change, a city report says.

“Overall, the past year has gone as expected with the rate of complaints dropping off slightly; we’re effectively using the tools available to us for enforcement action,” Fire Chief Morgan Hackl said in a news release. “Because of the increased enforcement, we have had a reduction in the number of repeated complaints to the same locations.”

The Standing Policy Committee on Planning, Development and Community Services was to consider the report at its May 13 meeting.

The report highlights the progress of the awareness campaign and bylaw enforcement in the first year of additional regulations. Council passed regulations in April 2018 prohibiting fires outside the hours of 2 p.m. to 11 p.m. daily.

In 2018, the Saskatoon Fire Department responded to 215 complaints compared to 236 in 2017 and 205 in 2016. There were 127 enforcement actions taken. Of those, the majority of violations were for illegal containers (46 per cent), followed by burning improper materials (33 per cent), for burning outside of permitted hours (13 per cent), and burning unattended (eight per cent).

“With more discussion in the community, we’re hoping more people are aware of the rules so as not to be a nuisance for their neighbours,” Chief Hackl said. “As usual, we’ll continue to get the message out about the regulations and encourage residents to be good neighbours by enjoying fires responsibly and respectfully.”

Complaints related to open-air fires make up a small percentage (1.5 per cent) of all incidents the Saskatoon Fire Department responds to each year.

To find out more, or to read Bylaw No. 9484 — The Fire and Protective Services Amendment Bylaw, 2018 — visit saskatoon.ca/bylaws.