Calgary

Calgary's temporary community fire pits, free wood so popular booking paused

The City of Calgary has temporarily paused requests to book its community fire pits after seeing more than 500 requests since the program's launch last week.

500 requests to book the community fireplaces have been made, says city

A firepit in Riley Park, in the central Calgary neighbourhood of Hillhurst. The city is putting temporary fire pits and free wood in several parks around Calgary to encourage people to socialize safely outdoors amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Justin Pennell/CBC)

The City of Calgary has temporarily paused requests to book its community fire pits after seeing more than 500 requests since the program's launch last week.

The small, bookable residential-sized fire pits have been set up in community parks across the city. 

The pits were installed as a way to encourage Calgarians to socialize outside, rather than indoors,which is currently prohibited outside of a person's household as cases of COVID-19 in the city continue to rise.

"We did take a brief pause on intake so that we can manage the requests we currently have in the queue and make sure that we're keeping our promise to citizens to get those fire pits out there," says Jennifer Thompson with the City of Calgary.

She says that the high interest so far indicates that this pilot to get Calgarians outside is a roaring success.

"We're really excited about how many Calgarians are interested in this," she said.

"This is of course a pilot that we started as part of the city's winter city strategy. Calgary is a winter city and in light of the fact that we're currently confined to our indoor spaces we wanted to ensure people still had the ability to get outside and still participate in a safe manner."

People will be able to book the fire pits again by Tuesday.

The city also has drop-in fire pits that don't require booking.

Bylaws have also been adjusted to allow citizens to bring their own propane pits to parks.

Free firewood is available at the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary Thursdays through Saturdays from noon until 4 p.m.

The temporary fire pits are at the following parks: 

Bookings and information can be found at the city website.

With files from Helen Pike

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