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Recreational fire law still smoking

By Staff | Jul 22, 2008

It will be Monday, Aug. 4 before the Estherville City Council takes action on an ordinance amending regulations on recreational fires.

A motion by Councilperson Lori Donovan to put more teeth into the ordinance as written died for a lack of a second. Meanwhile, there were not enough council members present to approve the ordinance as written, delaying any action until the council’s Aug. 4 meeting.

In introducing the ordinance at Monday’s council meeting, City Administrator Steve Woodley said he had changed the maximum size of burning receptacles from 36 to 40 inches. The reason for the change was that Woodley said he had received a call from a woman that a common burning receptacle was 37 inches in diameter.

Other provisions of the proposed ordinance are that fires must use only untreated, unprocessed, unmilled wood, charcoal, propane or natural gas as fuel. Fires must be within a noncombustible barrier or defined fire ring place no closer than 10 feet from any neighboring structure.

The minimum fine for noncompliance would be at least $200 for the first offense and $500 for second and subsequent offenses.

Councilperson Lori Donovan had concerns that the ordinance should further specify that an adult be on premises to monitor any recreational fires.