Taylor wants more review of burn bylaw

Taylor councillors have sent a draft burn bylaw back to its protection committee for further review and to lessen proposed restrictions on campfires.

The bylaw would give district fire officials the power to assess burn and property conditions within Taylor's fire protection zone before registered burn is allowed to begin. Though the bylaw is aimed mostly at Class 2 and 3 fires, provisions call for 20-foot setbacks between fire pits and buildings, property lines, trees and hedges, fences, roads, and overhead wires.

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“It would be impossible to have a Class 1 fire in most yards,” Mayor Rob Fraser said.

“A Class 1 fires is a fairly small fire, it’s basically a cooking fire, a small campfire that you can have in your backyard. And because of the size of it, some of these restrictions become a little difficult. So, essentially you ban it because no one can fit the parameters.”

Fire Chief Steve Byford said the provisions were made with safety in mind and mirror what other municipalities have in place.

“Staff does feel these safety distances should be required, especially since we’re not restricting the size of a Class 1 fire except for provincial regulations,” Byford said.

The district began drafting the burn bylaw this spring to help prevent the threat of wildfire.

The district was put on high alert in 2016 when record-breaking heat and high winds kicked up a massive wildfire on the South Taylor Hill overlooking the community. In April, a grass fire got out of control during a windy day in the same area, stoking another wave of early season wildfire fears.

Email Managing Editor Matt Preprost at editor@ahnfsj.ca.

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