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Backyard fire brings ticket

A Harewood resident received a $200 fine from the fire department after crews responded to repeated complaints about a fire in his backyard Tuesday.

The City of Nanaimo's bylaws do not permit backyard burning. Cooking fires are permitted, as long as the fire does not exceed 24 inches in diameter; is contained to a device or fixture designed to contain a fire; only clean, dry wood or briquettes are used; and the fire does not exceed two hours in duration.

Crews received three complaints about the fire at a Fourth Street house, said Ennis Mond, fire investigator with Nanaimo Fire Rescue.

The first time crews showed up, they determined the fire fit the criteria for a legal cooking fire and left, reminding the man it had to be put out after two hours.

About two hours later, the department received another complaint. Crews phoned the man and asked him to put the fire out.

When a third complaint was received and crews returned to find the fire still burning, a ticket was issued.

Mond said the department usually gives people a chance to amend their behaviour before a fine is issued.

Nanaimo city council recently approved a new fire bylaw that increased the dollar amount of fines handed out. Instead of starting at $100, they now start at $200.

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