Warmer weather and lighter evenings beckon people into the great outdoors, even if it’s just into their backyards.
A recent influx of correspondence and a petition reviewed by City of Powell River councillors at a committee of the whole meeting pushed for considering an amendment to the backyard burning bylaw. Proponents called for the allowance of recreational fires for the purpose of having small family gatherings and cooking food over the flames.
Reactions to the idea on social media have been mixed, with those in favour commenting on the nostalgic aspect of preparing a meal or snack with family members and promoting an outdoor activity, which are few and far between these days due to COVID-19 restrictions and protocols. Those opposed to the suggestion bring up smoke pollution and fire hazards, and also indicate concern that some people will use the opportunity to burn garbage, yard waste or unseasoned wood, the latter of which creates more smoke.
Allowing permits for small recreational fires, with proper restrictions, will not be a problem for responsible people who respect their neighbours. Finding the right spot, making sure the yard is big enough, and using dry wood should be part of the protocol.
People who choose to burn garbage are doing so anyway, stinking up neighbourhoods and annoying residents to either save a buck or two, or just out of sheer laziness.
Any decision to amend or change the backyard burning bylaw should be made with the vast majority of people in mind who would act in a responsible manner while roasting their wieners or marshmallows. Don’t punish the masses due to irresponsible acts of the few.