West Springfield's mayor clarifies recreational fire pit rules - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

West Springfield's mayor clarifies recreational fire pit rules

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(Western Mass News photo) (Western Mass News photo)

West Springfield residents can now fire up those fire pits legally this holiday weekend.  

West Springfield Mayor Will Reichelt took to Facebook today to let residents know they can, indeed, now have a small fire on their property.  

That's good news for those of you planning a holiday weekend get-together, but there are strict rules on how you burn and what you burn in that firepit. 

"Over the past two-and a half years, one of the biggest complaints that I've had, not really complaints, but inquiries besides like pave my street, fix my sidewalk, cut down my tree then plant a new one, has been why can't we have fire pits in West Springfield," Reichelt explained.

Reichelt told Western Mass News that he found there is a legal difference between open burning, which is banned in West Springfield, and recreational fires. 

"And for a long time the board has assumed open burning included recreational fire pits, chimneys, and all the stuff you can get at Skip's and whatever else. but with a little background research, we found that that's not included in opening burning," Reichelt added.

While small fires are now permitted, there are rules:  

  • Cannot be greater than three feet 
  • Must always be attended 
  • Garden hose or extinguisher must be nearby
  • Cannot be within 25 feet of a structure
  • No trash can be burned
  • No bonfires 

"So you can't have a massive fire that's the size of your house going on in your backyard going on uncontrolled," Reichelt said.

The regulations will officially go into place Tuesday, but Reichelt said that residents are free to fire up those firepits this weekend.

"Everyone loves a small fire.  It gets you outside, reminds you of growing up and now it's allowed," Reichelt noted.

Will the mayor fire it up?  "Now I will," he said.

As for recreational fire regulations in your town, the best bet is to check with your local fire department.  

Copyright 2018 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

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