Welles­ley clar­i­fies open fire by­law

The Woolwich Observer - - NEWS -

Welles­ley hopes to make the rules gov­ern­ing open fires clearer for res­i­dents in over­haul­ing its by­laws.

Ad­dress­ing coun­cil­lors Tues­day night, town­ship fire chief Paul Red­man said the lan­guage in the cur­rent by­laws are “overly ver­bose and con­fus­ing” to un­der­stand, even for him.

The idea, said Red­man, was to avoid com­pli­cated “legalese” cur­rently in place and al­low peo­ple to fig­ure out quickly and eas­ily if they could, say, roast marsh­mal­lows with their kids in the back­yard.

Amongst the re­vi­sions, the new by­law re­duces the min­i­mum dis­tance camp­fires have to be kept from dwellings to three me­ters from seven. Red­man noted that de­creas­ing this manda­tory dis­tance would al­low more peo­ple to en­joy camp­fires in their back­yards – which they were al­ready do­ing, but with­out break­ing the by­law.

Red­man added that so long as peo­ple follow the safety rules, such as keep­ing ex­tin­guish­ing agents nearby, and us­ing clean, dry wood, there is no added dan­ger of al­low­ing fires to be made closer to homes.

The new by­law would also al­low the fire depart­ment more lee­way in fin­ing peo­ple over in­frac­tions by in­creas­ing the num­ber of pos­si­ble in­frac­tions to 16 from six, with each vi­o­la­tion car­ry­ing a $200 fine. So, for ex­am­ple, some­one il­le­gally burn­ing wooden pal­lets could po­ten­tially be charged thou­sands of dol­lars in fines, said Red­man.

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