The town of Canmore is working on new bylaws to restrict outdoor fires in the mountain community.
Residents have been raising concerns about backyard fires in neighbourhoods filled with trees and homes built close together. Mayor John Borrowman says guidelines have been in place for many years but they are not enforceable.
"The bylaw department would like to have them inserted into a bylaw so that, if there is an infraction, then either the bylaw or the fire department or even the RCMP could go to the residence and essentially have them change their practice," he said.
Borrowman expects the bylaw will require fires to be surrounded by some type of structure and will limit the size and time that fires can burn.
"We don't want them burning unattended through the night," he said.
Resident Joanne Brunner said the lack of strict regulations is putting everyone's safety at risk.
"My big concern is a forest fire. We have a town where there’s a lot of tourists and a lot of absentee homeowners who rent out their homes for two or three days," she said.
"And people come in from other countries … they don’t understand the difficulty of fires. Some people don’t even know you’re supposed to put them out at night."
Council is hoping to have the new bylaws ready by summer.