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Fire chief wants backyard fire users to follow fire rules

A Penticton Fire and Rescue truck is in its bay ready to respond to a fire emergency. Fire chief Wayne Williams wants to educate the public about safe backyard fireplace habits.
July 11, 2013 - 11:08 AM

PENTICTON - Several burning complaints sparked Penticton Fire and Rescue to warn barbecue and home fire lovers.

Fire chief Wayne Williams said the department has gotten three smoke and fire complaints over the past week. Some complaints were made to the chief's face. "I've been approached by people in the street about it, so we better get this (information) out there."

Williams also plans to visit dealers and get them to display leaflets and brochures at their stores about safe burning habits and what can and what cannot be burned and at what time. The more the rules are followed the more time and firefighting resources can be saved for actual emergencies. "It is a strain on our crews," Williams said, responding to backyard burning complaints. "If an emergency comes up it could impede their response time."

Within the City of Penticton, and in the West Bench/Sage Mesa area, outdoor wood burning fireplaces are permitted provided they been installed properly and have been inspected by fire department personnel.

If someone wants to build a wood burning outdoor fireplace they need to submit a plot plan indicating the location and dimensions. The fire area can be no larger than 4 m squared and cannot be within 3 m of combustibles or the adjacent lot. The chimney must extend at least one meter above any structure that is within 3 m of the fire place.

A permanent wood burning outdoor fireplace is not to be used as a domestic or commercial incinerator. Burn only dry, well-seasoned wood or use commercial fire logs or briquettes, never leave the fire unattended, stay aware of children and pets and have a fire extinguisher or hose handy. Most of these rules apply when using propane or natural gas fireplaces as well.

Call the fire department at 250-490-2300 for more information on open burning, the rules and current fire bans.

To contact a reporter for this story, to send photos or videos, email Shannon Quesnel at, call 250-488-3065 or tweet @shannonquesnel1

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013
InfoTel News Ltd

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