'Roasting marshmallows no longer a criminal offence' in Kingsville as open-air burning bylaw changes
An annual permit allows for backyard campfires without having to alert the fire department each time
The Town of Kingsville has changed their open-air burning bylaw to allow a residential recreational fire with a permit.
The council vote wasn't recorded at Monday's meeting, but Coun. Laura Lucier believes it was a unanimous decision.
"The same bylaw was proposed last year and council turned it down," said Lucier. She wasn't on council at the time, but as a resident of Kingsville she was disappointed in the decision then.
According to Lucier, the public "has been clear" that they want this. Kingsville's fire department surveyed residents and said more than 80 per cent of those surveyed wanted the bylaw changed.
The rest of Essex County allows for some form of open-air burning, either through bylaws or permits.
"Roasting marshmallows will no longer be a criminal offence in Kingsville," said Lucier.
Charlene Swaddling has lived in Kingsville for 45 years and thinks the new rules are a good idea.
"I enjoy having a little fire," said Swaddling. "I think a lot of people would enjoy it. It would be a good asset to the town."
Swaddling wrote a letter to town council in support of the open burning bylaw.
The agricultural sector raised some objection to the new bylaw, but Lucier said that might be because of burning that was happening illegally before the change.
There will be no charge for the permit until 2021. Lucier said the goal of the fire department is an education campaign on how to have a backyard fire safely.
The annual permit allows for backyard campfires without having to alert the fire department each time. Permits are available as of June 25, 2019.