Recent rainfall has allowed the Kimberley Fire Department to lift restrictions on backyard fire pits. Fire pits can now be lit between the hours of 3:30 p.m. and 11 p.m. Previously, back yard fires were to be shut down by 9 p.m.
Residents are still required to have a permit. The permits are $50. Prior to issuing a permit for your fire pit, it must be inspected by fire department personnel to ensure that it meets the bylaw requirements. Permits only expire when there is a change of ownership or occupant of the property.
The City also requires that only clean, dry wood be burned in backyard fire pits. No yard waste can be burned, and if smoke creates a problem for your neighbours, you will be asked not to use your fire pit.
According to the city bylaw, recreational fire pits must meet the following criteria:
1) Must be constructed of masonry, brick or solid steel
2) Must be permanently attached in a location approved by the Fire Chief
3) Must have, in the opinion of the Fire Chief,acceptable spark arrestors installed on top to stop any sparks from becoming airborne
4) There must be a minimum 182 m (6 foot) diameter non-combustible surface around and under the fire pit area, such as crushed rock, paving stones or concrete.
5) There must be a minus 3 m (10 foot) clearance from any building, combustible structure or fence
It is always best to check with the Fire Department before purchasing any commercially made fireplace or chiminea, because often permits will not be issued for them. They are not recommended unless they are permanently attached to solid ground.