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You can't have fires on your front lawn in Fergus or Elora

The township's fire chief is looking to reword a bylaw to clarify where people with burn permits can have a campfire in urban areas

CENTRE WELLINGTON – The township is looking to clarify to residents that having a burn permit doesn’t mean you can have a campfire on your front lawn on Millburn Boulevard or any front lawn for that matter.

A report by Centre Wellington fire chief Tom Mulvey is proposing to reword a bylaw to clarify where residents with Class A permits, given for smaller campfires, can use them.

Mulvey wrote in the report the fire service has noticed “calls for service where residents were having campfires (Class A) in their respective front yards. Open air fires are not permissible in the front yard due to requirements in the current bylaw.”

Therefore, staff recommend updating the wording of the bylaw to clarify campfires in urban areas can only be in the rear or side yard if they meet the other requirements of the bylaw. 

The fire service is also recommending adding another permit type for events and festivals looking to have an open air burn. 

“Currently there is no permit type of this nature and by allowing these types of burns to occur, the township is accepting liability,” the report said. “By creating and issuing permits, it will reduce the liability on the township’s part and puts the onus on the permit holder.”

This will be considered by Centre Wellington council today.