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Report shows decreasing complaints for fire pits following bylaw change

For immediate release: May 9, 2019 - 10:32am
FI19-380

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,” says Fire Chief Morgan Hackl. “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 will consider the report at its regular meeting Monday, May 13.

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 2:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. daily.

Following the passing of the bylaw, an awareness campaign was launched to make residents aware of the requirements for the proper use and construction of open-air fires, including permitted hours of use.

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%), followed by burning improper materials (33%), for burning outside of permitted hours (13%), and burning unattended (8%).

“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 says. “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%) 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.