Kitchener’s open air burning bylaw revised

Posted on Tuesday March 05, 2013

Kitchener – Changes to the city’s bylaw on open air burning were approved by Kitchener city council Monday night. In revising the bylaw, several factors were taken into consideration, including dealing with backyard wood fires that are a nuisance for residents with health concerns.

“This is a delicate issue of trying to find a balance,” noted Mayor Carl Zehr. “However, there are strict conditions in the revised bylaw, including severe penalties should a nuisance situation occur.”

There are significant changes to the bylaw, including the location of fire pits which must be five metres from a property line, a building or combustible materials, recreational fires being permitted only between 6 – 11 p.m., increased fines for repeat offenders, increased enforcement activity, and an allowance for the director of enforcement to issue fire bans during smog conditions. The burning of leaves, brush or other combustible waste material is not permitted in Kitchener without a specific burn permit which is issued by the Kitchener fire department.

“The city recognizes the significance of safe enjoyment of outdoor, open air fire places”, said enforcement director Shayne Turner. “The revised bylaw continues our commitment to encourage residents to be responsible and respectful of neighbours and contribute to the health, safety and vibrancy of our community.”

The new bylaw would take effect April 1, 2013.

For more information on the open air burning bylaw, please call the city bylaw department at 519-741-2330.