Open air burning new in South Dundas; so far it’s complaint-free

(Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston, File)

MORRISBURG – While Cornwall is doing away with open air burning, South Dundas has brought in the practice and so far it appears to be going well.

In a report to council for tonight’s meeting, South Dundas Fire Chief Cameron Morehouse says, after two months, they have issued 76 permits and 41 have been activated to date.

Residents who get a permit have to call the municipal office and tell them the date they wish to burn so firefighters know ahead of time if a fire call is to a permitted property.

The permits are free for recreational and outdoor fireplaces and $10 for open air burns.

“To date we have no calls or complaints to any recreational fires within the municipality,” Morehouse writes.

Nearly 70 per cent of permit holders live where no burning has been allowed since 1998 – the semi-urban areas of Iroquois, Morrisburg and Williamsburg.

South Dundas revisited its restrictions because its neighbours – South Stormont, North Dundas and Edwardsburgh-Cardinal – all allow recreational fires.

Cornwall is in the midst of gathering public feedback but city council is leaning toward banning the practice of outdoor fire pits and Chimeneas and phasing out existing permits. The city’s fire chief believes the ban is warranted because of poor bylaw “performance.”

The city has 260 active permits and received 77 burning complaints in four months this season.