Kingsville Council passes changes to Open-Air Burn Bylaw

by Sylene Argent

At the Monday, June 24 Kingsville Council Meeting, changes were approved to Kingsville’s Open-Air Burn Bylaw.

  Kingsville Fire Chief Chuck Parsons explained these changes were implemented to improve safety measures and get ride of any confusion residents may have had in regards to when a permit was needed to be obtained to have an open-air burn.

  In the past, Parsons explained, the Town of Kingsville did not permit residents to have an open-air burn. Many residents were unaware of that.

  In the newly adopted Bylaw, residents can now have an open-air burn, but they have to get a permit. These permits are good for a year and includes a firefighter conducting a home visit to inspect the area, provide safety tips to the homeowners, and explain setbacks and maximum allowable pit sizes. The permits are good for a year and homeowners can have as many open-air burns as they want.

  Currently, these back-yard open-air permits are free, but a cost will be associated with it in 2021, which he said will put Kingsville in line with the rest of the County.

  The second change to the Bylaw is that now all fires require a permit, even ones that are agriculture-related.    

  In the past, Parsons said, there were a lot of misconceptions as to what an agricultural fire was. These types of burns must include crop remains.

  Since January, there have been 45 reported agriculture burns in Kingsville, and 41 of them were not actually qualified for this type of burn, which would have required a permit.

  An Ag/Contractor permit now also requires a site visit from Kingsville Fire. Within the type of burn there are two categories. The first is when a farmer burns in the same place. A permit is necessary and the farmer must contact the Fire Department before each burn.

  The second type of Ag/Contractor permit includes single-use, where a farmer may want to have a one-time burn in the field for permissible burn materials that are not crop remains. In this case, a permit is issued and the farmer would have three weeks to conduct the burn. Extensions could be granted by contacting Kingsville Fire if weather is uncooperative.

  Also, as part of the amendments to this bylaw the term “prohibited burn” is defined, which includes materials like rubber and plastic. Kingsville Fire also now has the ability to hold a fire band when there is a drought.