Saskatoon

Fire pit use in Saskatoon may now be limited to 5-11 p.m.

City councillors voted six-five in favour of creating a six-hour window of time when burning will be allowed.

Health concerns have made fire pit regulations subject of heated debate

Saskatoon Mayor Charlie Clark says the city's fire department will start doing more to enforce new rules that ban backyard fire pits outside the hours of 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. (Philippe Morin/CBC)

Fire pits will be banned in Saskatoon except between 5 p.m. and 11 p.m. CST, after city council voted to change the rules around what has become a hot topic in the city.

Councillors voted six-five in favour of creating a six-hour window of time when burning will be allowed.

Mayor Charlie Clark said the new rules will be paired with stricter enforcement measures.

In 2016, the Saskatoon Fire Department issued a single fine in response to 192 complaints.

"In those situations where somebody is clearly experiencing a health impact or a breathing impact or a quality of life impact, then the fire department needs to step in and say somebody's health should not be trumped by somebody's desire to have a fire in their backyard," said Clark.

He said the time limit allows those people who want to enjoy backyard fires to do so, while providing more certainty for people whose health is affected by the fires.

But Saskatoon resident Charlotte Garrett, who attended Monday's city council meeting, said the measures don't go far enough.

"If they were seriously interested in the population's health they would go to a ban," said Garrett.

With files from CBC's Charles Hamilton

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