The ban on backyard fires accomplished its goal, Sarnia’s fire chief says.
“There were no large bonfires or parties during the recreational burn ban,” Brian Arnold said. “The opportunities to come together in large groups were restricted.”
City Hall announced the ban on backyard campfires on April 3, saying it was necessary to limit the exposure of fire crews to the COVID-19 virus.
Between April 6, when the prohibition began, and May 8, when it was lifted, firefighters responded to 23 open burning calls.
That’s nearly twice the five-year average of 13 in the month of April.
Despite the uptick, Chief Arnold said the ban did its job.
Fifteen calls involved residents unaware of the restriction. Two were “non-compliant,” one was “belligerent, uncooperative,” and another to an unoccupied property, he said.
“We thank the community for their cooperation and patience during this time as we dealt with measures needed to ensure the safety of our residents and employees,” Arnold said.