Winnipeg councillor proposes motion for open-air fire buffer zone which could prevent some from having backyard fires

A city councillor has proposed a motion to potentially help homeowners who have smoke allergies or suffer from extreme asthma.

Coun. Kevin Klien introduced a motion suggesting the city implement open-air fire buffer zones, similar to the policy used to address concerns around mosquito fogging.

This could apply to fire pits in people's backyards, with Klien saying smoke can cause problems for some Winnipeggers.

"People have medical conditions, such as asthma, that can impact them when there is smoke. So they're not permitted to enjoy their backyard or have their windows open at certain times of the day if somebody is having a fire," said Klien.

"This is to say, let's see if we can look at a way of letting there be a process for people to identify – bring a medical letter, of course, testifying to it that they have a medical condition, it has to be a medical condition, that having smoke on either side of the house would impact them."

Klien was asked about those who feel this would take away their right of enjoying a fire in their backyard.

"I think that we have to respect our neighbours and if someone has a medical condition, I don't know anybody in Winnipeg that would want to put somebody in harm’s way or make it so they have to lock themselves inside a house because of a fire pit."

He added this motion is being brought forward because he has had people in his riding bring up concerns.