With the weather warming up and summer just around the corner, the City of Weyburn Fire Department is reminding residents to obtain a fire permit for an open fire on their property.

Fire Chief Trent Lee with the City of Weyburn Fire Department, said that fire permits are available through City Hall, with a one-time fee of $25.

"That fire permit is good for the owner of that permit for that address as long as they live at that address. If they change their address or ownership changes of the property, then they would be required to grab a new permit from City Hall."

Lee said that if you're a renter, as long as you have written permission from the landlord, then you can go to City Hall and get a fire permit.

There are several requirements as per the city's bylaw for fire pits, outdoor fire places, or open air fires in your property/backyard area, Lee explained.

"The fire must be contained in a non-combustible receptacle and that can be constructed of concrete, clay, brick, or sheet metal. Any of those materials can be homemade or purchased from the manufacturer or from a local reseller of those items."

Lee said the size cannot exceed 82 centimetres in any dimension, and you must have a heavy gauge metal screen that covers the firebox that cannot exceed 13 millimetres in openings.

"So basically what we're saying is, your fire pit must be in a receptacle, it can't be on combustible material. It must be contained within that receptacle and it has to be covered with a heavy gauge screen that will contain and help reduce flying embers from that fire pit."

Lee said the only material that is permitted to burn in the fire pit is charcoal briquettes, cut seasoned wood, or manufactured logs made for fire pits or outdoor fireplaces.

"Burning of backyard waste, leaves, paper, or garbage, any of that is prohibited. We do get complaints, and we have followed up on that. People have gotten a monetary fine for violation of the bylaw."

Just last year, Lee said they had a senior citizen's complex three stories in height, whereby a neighbor was burning prohibited materials. It filled that building full of smoke, and set the fire alarm system off. 

"It created a lot of issues for people within that building and for the Fire Department trying to figure out what the problem was. Was there a fire in the building? Was it hidden in a wall? It took quite the time to figure out what set the alarms off within that building."

Lee underscored that the bylaw states that you must be 18 years of age or supervised by a person over the age of 18.

"If smoke from your fire pit or outdoor fireplaces cause unreasonable interference with the enjoyment of another person's property nearby, then the fire shall be extinguished immediately. That is part of the rules and regulations when you accept the authorization of having a fire pit in your backyard."

As well, Lee wanted to remind residents to ensure their fire pit is located at least three metres from any combustible material, and not underneath any tree branches or utility lines. "Of course, to be fire safe anytime we are burning in a fire pit, we must have a means of extinguishing that fire at any time, such as a couple pails of water or a garden hose readily available."

Anyone looking for more information can contact the Weyburn Fire Department at (306)-848-3240, or go HERE on the city's website regarding fire pit permits.