Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Ensuring wood is suitable for burning

As citizens work to clear their yards and communities from tree debris as a result of last week’s snowfall, questions have come up about alternative uses for tree branches and debris.

Tree debris collected on your property, or that you have collected as a result of cleaning up in your community is for your discretional use. The City would prefer that you bring it to one of our three landfills, dispose of it at any of the 33 community pumpkin & leaf drop offs or stack it for The City to collect, however if you choose to keep it please be aware that only clean, dry firewood is permitted to be burned in fire pits. Burning prohibited materials can cause dense smoke and offensive odours to neighbouring properties. It can also lead to false fire calls.

More specifically, when using outdoor fire pits, you cannot burn:
  • Wet or unseasoned wood
  • Leaves, brush or yard waste
  • Treated or painted lumber
  • Lumber products containing glue or resin
  • Garbage
  • Rubber, tires or plastic
  • Animal carcasses or parts

The wood gathered as a result of last week’s event needs to be ‘seasoned’ before it is suitable for burning. Cut and dry any wood for burning, as wet wood will cause creosote build-up in your chimney, which can lead to a chimney fire, or if burning in an outdoor fire pit, an abundance of smoke and odour. Small branches and leaves are not appropriate to burn and should be disposed of properly – at a City landfill or at any of the 33 leaf & pumpkin drop-off sites.

There are many resources on-line that can assist with describing methods to ‘season’ wood.

Find information on bylaws related to fire pits, as well as information on filing complaints. Please note that the City of Calgary does not permit open burns.

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