Open air burn ban to be considered in Cornwall

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By Nick Seebruch
Open air burn ban to be considered in Cornwall
Roasting marshmallows on a stick over the open fire.

CORNWALL, Ontario – At the Council meeting on Monday, Sept. 9, Cornwall Fire Services (CFS) will be presenting a report recommending that the City no longer provide open air burn permits.

According to the report, the City gives out around 80 permits a year, which brings the City approximately $8,000 in revenue.

Fire Chief Pierre Voisine however stated in an interview with Seaway News that this income did not outweigh the resources CFS invests in responding to complaints.

“It is difficult to manage,” he said. “We go to a ton of burn complaints and it creates a lot of community issues between neighbours.”

He said that often, a neighbour will call in a complaint on a person who has a legal open air burn permit due to smoke drifting onto properties.

“The reality is that it isn’t an appropriate activity for an urban area,” said Voisine.

In 2018 CFS responded to 62 burn complaints, and as of July 2019, they had already responded to 51.

The proposed open air ban would only apply to wood fires, and not to fires fueled by certified gas devices. Permits usually are valid for a multiple year period, and according to the CFS report, any valid permits that have already been issued would be grandfathered into the new by-law, but that no new permits would be issued.

Cornwall City Council will consider the proposed burn ban on Monday.

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