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Fire pit permits suggested as way to manage complaints

Coun. Scott McKeen and Coun. Bev Esslinger told council Wednesday that the fire pits were an issue last month when air quality was low due to smoke from northern wildfires.

The idea of permits for backyard fire pits was floated by an Edmonton city councillor as a way to deal with an issue that sparks complaints from the public every summer.

Coun. Scott McKeen and Coun. Bev Esslinger told council Wednesday that  fire pit complaints increased last month when air quality was poor due to smoke from northern wildfires.

McKeen suggests putting a limit on the number of fires people can have each year.

“We may need to go to a permitting system,” he said.

“You would go get a permit, a 24-hour permit for a fire and that would allow you to have a fire.  But you would have to go get another permit if you wanted to have one the next weekend.”

McKeen says he is not trying to eliminate fire pits. But he says the rights of people with health issues also need to be taken into account.

City administration has been asked to report back in a few weeks on how backyard fire pits affect air quality.