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Discuss Your Experiences

by abierbower, over 1 year ago

What is your experience with outdoor residential burning? Is it important to your social or recreational activities? Has it affected you or your family in other ways?

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  • NorthFC 3 days ago
    Outdoor woodburning for recreational purposes unnecessarily contributes to air pollution, which the Front Range can't afford. The same is true of traffic congestion: It's not just an inconvenience, it increases pollution from vehicles, which are on the road longer than necessary because traffic is delayed. Fort Collins needs to address issues more wholistically, because issues are interrelated and while the "main" issue--e.g. people enjoying a wood fire in their yards--might seem to be without negative consequences, related effects need to be considered, too, and I do have a problem with contributing smoke to our air unnecessarily.
  • Barb 2 months ago
    A neighbor has a fire outside everyday all day long, is that normal? I dont mine a fire pit I have one. However wouldn’t that bother others and the smoke, also I have a child that plays outback. Nice older neighborhood houses no Association. Isn’t there a law about that. I looked up and need to call someone. Anyone know who? Fire department?
    • yunzer about 2 months ago
      In my community, (Allegheny County, Pennsylvania) you can call or submit a web-form to the county health department They have regulations on open burning without a permit which limits patio fire pits to certain dimensions, and only properly seasoned firewood or charcoal can be burned - no brush or trash. Any fire that "creates a nuisance" is also prohibited. The problem of nuisance smoke from neighbors is US wide, so I thank the City of Ft. Collins for letting us non-residents use this forum.
  • Frankladonne 8 months ago
    Yet another example of “mommy government”. A favor, if you moved here from California, leave your politics behind. The result of those politics is probably why you moved here in the first place.
    • Donna. Lee11 about 2 months ago
      Removed by moderator.
  • JBeitz 8 months ago
    I went around my neighborhood and introduced myself and left my phone number with a request to call me before they lit their outdoor fire so that I could close my windows. I was not asking them to not light the fire. All I wanted was a heads-up so I could avoid getting smoke in our house. NO ONE EVER CALLED!I have not called the city to complain until now. Now that I know that city council is baseing their decisions in part on the number of complaints received, I will be calling EVERY time.No I am not a recent arrival. We have lived in our house since 1977, 42 years. I grew up in Fort Collins. Moved here with my parents in 1955. At that time we could burn trash in the back yard. That has been banned correctly. Get GAS LOGS. Smoke is Smoke and I don't want it in our house.
  • Jem 8 months ago
    I pretty much read thru all the comments, and what I see is that most of you complaining about those who enjoy using fire pits are basically saying they need to succumb to those who don't. It infringes on your rights. Well what about the rights of those using their fire pits? You know, along the same lines, I am totally against this nanny state banning cigarettes, banning e-cigs, (and I don't even smoke) banning lawn mowers (really?), banning fire pits after 10 - watch out because perhaps a complete ban is next. ( And the person who posted about smells from cows/cattle being worse? - Is this a case like someone moving next to the airport and then complaining about airplane noises? Or the Muslim group in Texas that bought property next to a pig farm and then 'demanded' that the farmer get rid of his pigs?) Obviously with so few registered complaints this is not something the majority wants or cares about. But nowadays that does not seem to matter. Maybe this makes city council feel important that they are doing something for the sustainability of the city which seems to rank #1 in importance, but anyway, I am curious - are you long-term neighbors or newcomers to a neighborhood that likes fire pits, but because YOU do not care for the smoke, EVERYONE has to stop using these? Now on the other hand, maybe I do understand the ban - I guess I would like to ban little yip yap dogs who bark and bark and bark when no one is home (or maybe they are home and just don't care) - but geez, talk to your neighbors first.
  • Erealia over 1 year ago
    The smell of smoke and actual smoke coming into your house are vastly different things. If your house is being completely /filled/ with smoke from your neighbor's house you have a reason to complain. If you smell burning wood, not so much. I think many posters here are being very melodramatic in their descriptions.
  • really wow over 1 year ago
    I have a neighbor that smokes cigarettes. We sleep with windows open and use a whole house fan at night. I wake up many mornings to the smell of cigarette smoke. I guess his wife won't let him smoke inside. I have another neighbor who occasionally invites friends over to hang around a wood burning firepit. And yes, we smell the smoke. Frankly the cigarette smoke smells worse. I don't think either should be banned or regulated. Plus, my kids have asthma and my wife has significant alergies. Its just not something people should make a law about. Have more tolerance. Your neighbors should be able to smoke a cigarette or burn some wood. I get that things can be frustrating , but remember your neighbors are not your enemies. Have more tolerance and stop lobbying the government to make your neighbors live the way you want them to live. I happen to know my neighbor that smokes cigarettes has a lot of stress and having a morning cig is one of his little joys in life. I hate the smell of cigarettes, but I would not want to take away his ability to have a morning smoke on his back patio. I don't always like the smell of the fire pit next door and sometimes the voices of my neighbors and their friends keep me awake for a bit longer than I'd prefer on a Saturday night, but I love the fact that they are enjoying the evening with some of their friends. I know respiratory problems can be challenging. My daughter spent many days and nights in the hospital when she was younger. However, there are ways to handle lif es challenges without imposing restrictions on your neighbors. If you use the government as a stick to beat your neighbors you may find someday it will be used as a stick to beat you. Please consider that we all experience nuisances and each of us can be annoying, but we are all people. People who smoke, people who like to sit around a fire pit occasionally, people with asthma etc. etc. etc. I suggest its a bad idea to encourage the government to regulate more aspects of our lives. Thanks for listening neighbor :)
  • JoeR over 1 year ago
    I am asthmatic and enjoy leaving my windows open at night. The whole house fan is our cooling system (too cheap to install air conditioning). I also enjoy using our firepit. It's a great joy to sit around the flames, converse, roast the occasional marshmallow and bond with family and neighbors. I'm also very conscientious about keeping the smoke in check. If it bothers the neighbors, they let me know. If their fire irritates my asthma or my wife's quiet enjoyment of our cooling system, we let them know. I think this not only a great system, but the definition of community. We don't need another initiative of government imposing itself between neighbors and certainly don't need yet greater erosion of our personal liberties.
  • James Hicks 8 months ago
    Per the city's communication: "Smoke and odor generated from wood burning can have unintended negative impacts on some of the most sensitive populations, such as the young, the elderly and people with heart or lung conditions."But I can legally burn wood from 7:00 AM until 9:59 PM, then extinguish the fire with water at 10:00 PM. So how does this 10:00 curfew do anything other than cut short the time around the fire?
  • pfmahoney 11 months ago
    I was disappointed to hear about the new regulations to regulate backyard fire pits. Our family and our neighbors have enjoyed getting together several times a summer to cook dinner of tinfoil-covered roasted corn and hot dogs and a desert of s'mores for years. I feel like a small vocal minority is convincing the city council to change something that has brought members of our community closer together for years and created memories that our children will treasure - which is all of our neighbors getting together once a month or so in the summer to share a meal and swap stories sitting around a fire pit.
  • DebNoCo 9 months ago
    I support the 10pm curfew. We are trying to reduce our energy usage and run a whole house fan instead of AC. It runs most of the night and we sleep with our windows open. Our home can fill with smoke in a matter of seconds if someone is burning nearby. We can adapt if there’s a curfew and people abide by it.
  • jjbeard926 10 months ago
    This is a rather extreme government over reach. I completely understand not infringing on your neighbors, and we should all be a little more courteous and aware of the impact we have on one another. But this ordinance is not going to actually help the issue by changing the setback a few feet and setting a curfew for the fire to go out. Instead it punishes the innocent due to the actions of a few. This is not a major issue, but we will now waste tax dollars on it anyway. If we want to address air quality we need to address traffic first. We need to pay attention to these abuses of power and vote out those that enact them.
  • Ftcollins 11 months ago
    For DECADES our neighborhood has complained about a backyard hoarding/landfill issue with chemicals, debri, garbage etc... with no resolution. Regulating outdoor fires is a slap in the face.
  • Ftcollins 11 months ago
  • String over 1 year ago
    With the recent smoke haze, I have to comment. This smoke haze is a cake-walk compared to what my family has to deal with on a weekly basis in the summer with this fire-pit fad that should have been extinguished long ago. CDPHE has issued a health warning ( about the slight haze in our area. Serious stuff from wood fires miles away, not yards away. When are we going to learn? Others will deny everything believing there is no harm to our air quality or other vulnerable citizens so that they can have a fire pit in their backyard. It's the epitome of America. Why go camping when I can sit in my back-yard and anger all of everyone. Lazy. This is from the City of Fort Collins' own website... This should END this conversation once and for all. it's a no brainer: ( Wood smoke contains poisonous and CANCER-causing chemicals including carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons and formaldehyde. They enter the lungs by attaching to tiny particles in wood smoke too small to be filtered by the nose and upper respiratory systems. Breathing wood smoke can: cause CARDIOVASCULAR PROBLEMS such as ANGINA irritate lungs and eyes TRIGGER HEADACHES hinder judgment slow reflexes worsen respiratory diseases such as ASTHMA, EMPHYSEMA and BRONCHITIS It is especially detrimental to CHILDREN, PREGNANT WOMEN, and the ELDERLY. The occurrence of respiratory illnesses such as acute pneumonia or bronchitis in children HAS BEEN SHOWN TO INCREASE WITH INCREASED EXPOSURE TO WOOD SMOKE. End it. End the ignorance. End this stupid, unhealthy, ridiculous and eco-pig fad.
  • Jdddrigot over 1 year ago
    What if we ban all lawn equipment from having internal combustion engines? We'll have better air quality and a quieter neighborhood.
  • Darren072018 over 1 year ago
    In those few corner cases where outdoor burning creates a problem, let the existing mediation process handle it. I've lived here for some time and I haven't noticed any instances where this is a problem.If the City wants to tackle a clean air problem, look into fixing the traffic lights. Allowing only 3 or 4 cars at a time through a light is creating tons of unnecessary carbon emissions each day. Sometimes it takes several traffic signal cycles to get through an intersection. Think about all those idling cars.
  • Pineapple over 1 year ago
    My neighbor lost a tree. Over the past 3 nights, they burned the green wood in an outdoor fire pit. The smoke is terrible! I asked them to stop and offered my trash can as an alternative. (I would have hauled it to Hagemans too.) They said they were almost done and put a pile of green leaves on the fire! My thoughts are always to try to work things out with neighbors before you involve others, but that act of defiance prompted me to report them to the Nuisance Hotline (970-416-2200). They will send a letter. Likely, the neighbor will ignore it. We are the lowest consumer of electricity in our neighborhood, according to the graph on our bill. We run a whole house fan in the evening. When outdoor fires are burning, we cannot do that. It is time for an ordinance preventing backyard burning in the city limits. The city no longer allow indoor wood burning fireplaces in homes and that should be extended to the outdoors.
  • christyjenson over 1 year ago
    I believe the city has more pressing issues to discuss instead of looking at adding new laws that take away fire pits. If there were only 56 complaints in 5 years why is this an issue? We enjoy using our fire pit and invite our neighbors over every time. The fire pit promotes a community because it brings everyone together. I feel people should get to know their neighbors and talk to them about it first if there is a problem, then if all else fails then I feel people should be able to call the nuisance hot-line. I do not believe everyone should be punished for a few cases a year. This is common sense, do not ban fire pits because a few people have complained. Please note: I have three kids with Asthma and they do fine around fire pits.
  • Parker over 1 year ago
    I moved into my house in 1992, in a residential neighborhood built in the early 90's in SW FOCO. I have never needed AC and use whole house fan and now tree shade and open windows to keep my house cool. Started to see the advent of fire pits in our neighborhood starting in the late 2000's. Had new 2 neighbors move in directly west of me, both moved in from out of state, and they set up fire pits. They lit them up that summer and and even with windows closed the smoke creeped in from roof soffits. Went to them and told them what happening, 1 neighbor was kind enough to extinguish and I told them to try store bought dried firewood for less smoke. The other neighbor told be take a flying leap in a rolling donut. BTW - the store bought firewood still smoked up the house, not as bad, and "kind" new neighbor would douse after sundown. Other neighbor kept doing his thing and went there every time to knock on door...and they would roll the donut out and let the fire burn out and never doused. So happy when they moved. I am not a believer on calling authorities on people or making civil complaints about my neighbors, because that just escalates into a feud, e.g. my dog barking at squirrel and they do the same to me.In conclusion, FOCO has grown a lot since I moved here in the 70's and new rules for parking in Old Town, smoking bans, dog on leash (pick up their poop) and other regulations had to be put in place to make it habitable for all. Not a fan of having the regulation and prefer education, but that does not work in my experience. (Still picking up other people's dog poop, even with regulations and signs posted everywhere.) So, yes, I believe regulations for fire pits needs to be instituted. If you have 1/2 acre lot and not close to other residence, I think an exemption can be made. If you are in housing development then the fire pit should be alternative fuel such as gas or propane should be mandated.
  • sce1515l over 1 year ago
    We live in a very old house near city park and our house can't have AC installed - when days are hot we leave our windows open at night to cool the house down. We have done this for years, but last summer some of our neighbors started burning wood, yard waste and trash. This year it began three weeks ago -every single night the burning started around 11pm. We would wake up to the house filled with smoke and even after reporting this to the city and calling the PFA non-emergency number, the burning is still happening from multiple houses on our block and at least a few nights a week. I enjoy time around a fire pit occasionally as well, so I agree that its a shame that the few ruin this for the many! However, the burning has gotten so bad around our neighborhood that we are considering moving (at least to a house that can have AC so we aren't at the mercy of smoke each night). While the city is considering limiting hours, etc. for burning, have you thought about having more of a consequence or fine when someone is caught violating laws and burning trash and yard waste? Even that might help deter those few who seem determined to burn waste. Just a thought - overall, thank you for looking into this issue.
  • Sheila over 1 year ago
    Please douse residential fire pits after 10:00 p.m. When I open the windows at bed time to cool the house, I'm breathing wood smoke and its odor. Thank you for protecting our air quality.
  • SilentBob over 1 year ago
    I love the burner augments: CLOSE YOUR WINDOWS AND TURN ON THE AC: Perfect, your response says it all. You know the smoke is a nuisance, you know the smoke is a health concern. You do not care about air quality, you do not care about energy concerns, you give no concern about the community in general. IT’S SOCIAL, I WANT TO HANG WITH MY FAMILY AROUND A FIRE: Perfect, I do this every night, and nothing is lit on fire. You say this like you have no options, which is a lie. You can sit around a clean-burning propane firepit, but that’s not what you’re really screaming about is it? You just want to lite something on fire. IT’S MY RIGHT TO HAVE A FIRE: No, it’s your privilege to have a fire. No where in the constitution is there a clause that reads, “the right to keep and bear firepits”. When your actions impede others to pursue happiness, you are breaking social convention and the issue needs to be addressed. Last night I went over to my neighbors who were burning through the rain. They were burning pallet wood. Treated, processed pallet wood. And nothing on the books to stop them. So don’t tell me that you need a fire pit, you’re only concern is that the community is about to take away your matches.
  • SilentBob over 1 year ago
    Removed by moderator.
  • DaveCruise over 1 year ago
    We have an upwind neighbor burning various types of wood on a regular basis. It would be nice to open up the house to cool things down at night, but the smoke keeps us from doing so. I have spoken to him as have other neighbors, but his liquid attitude limits a friendly approach. A few outdoor wood buring ideas:- Have acceptable burning materials (no cottonwood)- Have acceptable hours- Different outdoor fire rules in higher density areas
  • tcalford over 1 year ago
    What a huge waste of resources in even bringing this topic up. Voters should act appropriately to ensure our reps are focusing on the right priorities and not wasting our tax resources. If you want to clean up the air, go after the sources of the extremely foul cow smell we get from time to time. It impacts far more people than a few backyard campfires.
  • chrisleeonthefly over 1 year ago
    Why is this a concern? Let's have fewer rules that come about because of a handful of smoke complaints. Burning wood correctly (according to the rules) in a fire pit is no different than using a BBQ grill.
  • JLink over 1 year ago
    What in the world is driving this policy conversation? The Coloradoan reported that there have been 56 fire pit complaints in 5 years. That's about 10 a year in a community with well over 140,000 people. I attended the community forum at CSU in early May and while most people at my table opposed any regulations, there were two that supported either restrictions or an all-out ban. In both cases, these residents had problems with one specific neighbor who was violating existing city code (against burning wet wood or trash). In both cases, they were reluctant to be the neighbor who called the cops, so instead they were supporting a city-wide policy change. These are not the sorts of people we should be letting drive policy, especially when there are already regulatory solutions in place.On the other side against restricting recreational outdoor burning is strong public opinion. Why is the city - and our elected officials - ignoring this? The 2017 Air Quality, Climate and Recycling Survey that includes some very relevant data: is a survey in which 85 percent of respondents wanted to "Do more to reduce outdoor air pollution," (page 22). This was supported by the overwhelming support for five out of the six policy suggestions offered on page 23. The one exception: to "Prohibit outdoor (e.g. backyard) wood burning." Only 31% strongly agreed or somewhat agreed. On the other side, 28% somewhat disagreed and 35% strongly disagreed (for a total of 63% disagree). This is the city's own public opinion data. More people strongly disagreed with this proposal than strongly and somewhat agreed combined. And remember, 85% of these people agree in general that we should do something about outdoor air quality.The city's efforts to date have not been neutral. Various website discussing the proposal are not geared toward informing the public so much as persuading them. And they tactics being used are dishonest. For example, they list the various things found in wood smoke, which while accurate, is misleading. What's missing is any indication of how much of these are present, and how much exposure results from outdoor recreational burning. Of course, these are extremely elusive questions that have baffled even the EPA (ironically, the EPA dangers of wood smoke website they city has linked lists a huge number of health hazards - FOR INDOOR SMOKE - and for outdoor smoke lists only 'reduced visibility' as a harm). The tactics being used here are to mention a bunch of scary things and then hope the person reading it doesn't think critically about what is being claimed.Moreover, the city discusses our larger air quality challenges, leaving the reader to assume that fire pits are causing this problem. Of course, that's simply unsupported by any kind of scientific data which points to traffic and ag efforts to the east as the primary source of Fort Collins' air challenges.Finally, the last gripe I have is with this attempt to paint fire pits as anti-social, when in fact the opposite is true. A tiny minority of people may not like the smoke, but overall, fire pits are where neighbors congregate. They are extremely pro-social. They are the glue that holds many neighborhoods together. As discussed above, the anti-social element - the one's who would rather have the city ban fire pits then confront their own neighbors - are behind this ban, not the other way around. But this is still Colorado, not New York or Los Angeles. Neighbors should still talk to one another and the city should stay out of disputes that should be handled more locally.
  • bea.krum over 1 year ago
    There is no right to burn a fire (or to do or any activity that spills over to a neighbor). This "fad" has been an increasing problem in recent years. It used to occur only occasionally, now it's several nights a week during the summer. The smell of smoke is a nuisance and in neighborhoods with small residential lots there is no way to prevent smoke from leaving the property where the fire is burning. All my life we have used the cool night air to keep our house cool in the summer. If there are fires burning in the neighborhood (and it only takes one) the smoke coming in the windows makes it impossible to do this. If we have to close the house up all night it will not cool down and we will have to use the air conditioner.
  • Mpattonmallory over 1 year ago
    It currently is not a problem at my house but we have Air conditioning due to family allergies. I see people using fire pits in the neighborhood and there have been a lot of concerns expressed about fire pit smoke in the neiborhood forum so this issue needs more attention and public education. One person’s fun evening can cause heath issues with neighbors, and wood smoke is a proven irritant and health risk. We need to step up nuisance enforcement with clear consequences for multiple offenses.
  • Alan over 1 year ago
    On hot days, my neighbors run their air conditioners. Not only is this a sound nuisance, it also adds to the heat load, pumping heat from inside their house to outside, contributing to the "island effect" and making it less comfortable for everyone else. This also pollutes our air, either through coal burning or from the fracking of natural gas.
  • citizen2018 over 1 year ago
    On hot days we wait eagerly until the outdoor temperature drops enough so we can cool the house by opening the windows and turning on the whole-house fan. Often then the fan starts sucking in smoke from some neighbor's fire pit and we have to close up the windows again and either suffer in the heat or turn on the air conditioning. Why do they have the right to pollute our air? It doesn't make sense to allow such polluting fires, especially in a neighborhood like ours where the houses are close together. If people want to sit around a fire, maybe they should go to a park away from other houses, preferably downwind from us.
  • graylivesmatter over 1 year ago
    Didn't Fort Boulder...excuse me..., I mean Fort Collins...recently enact a "law" against those folks in their diesel trucks "rolling coal" in town? Funny, because I still see these quality individuals blasting from stop light to stop light trailing noxious clouds, and little change in behavior or attitude, with no apparent visible enforcement of this "law". Or the rule against smoking in Old Town, just to repeal it because of the business impact (if i'm not mistaken - but I could be)? That said, just how do we think this is going to be any different? Is the city going to cave in to the newly transplanted urbanites who disagree with this Ag-towns kickback, relaxed take on outdoor activities? Or are they going to waste MORE time and money on putting yet another useless "law" on the books to to *ahem* blow smoke up the rears of those whom are so sensitive, yet unwilling to communicate with their neighbors? Seriously. In the decades Ive spent growing up, and old, in this town we've gone from saying "'mornin'" to your neighbor, and inviting them over for a beer or BBQ after work, to well, not. Now we can't even seem to be bothered to speak to each other about anything, so lets saddle the police or FD with that burden. Great idea Fort Boulder (this time I mean it). So I suggest this novel approach to this clearly massive community issue: GO TALK TO YOUR NEIGHBOR LIKE AN ADULT! Work things out like civilized people! Get to know your neighbors, instead of isolating yourself. Get your face out of your "smart" phone and interact with other human beings...for real, not "virtually". Problems in our community CAN be solved by actual communication, respect, and empathy. The police and FD have bigger issues to deal with!
  • HUSKER991 over 1 year ago
    First let me say that I have asthma and I appreciate the thoughtfulness of this conversation. That being said, I am disappointed that we're in a time & place in our world that we talk about banning fires and lawn mowers. I love outdoor fires and I can't see myself giving up a gasoline engine lawn mower. I control my asthma like my Dad does so people don't have to listen to me whining about what someone else is doing. I can still do most of the things that my buddies do, I just need to use common sense. The last thing we need is Fort Collins implementing another law or health code. I'm so sick of everyone pushing more laws that take away more of our freedoms. I don't want my kids growing up without knowing what an outdoor fire feels like. Again, I appreciate Fort Collins asking, but this is not a problem. This is just someone's hot button issue that they're pushing and we're unfortunately wasting our time commenting on. Thank you, #Freedom
  • Alan over 1 year ago
    What about indoor wood burning such as fireplaces? Whereas a modern wood stove or fireplace insert (using "second combustion") can burn wood and wood pellets more efficiently and more cleanly, open fireplaces and older wood stoves or inserts are no different from outdoor burning when it comes to producing smoke and particles.
  • longstanding citizen over 1 year ago
    It would be nice to cool our houses in the summertime by merely opening the windows, rather than having to seal them up and crank up the expensive, resource-intensive air conditioning because we don’t like smoke from recreational outdoor burning? More often than not in my Fort Collins neighborhood, the nighttime air is saturated with wood smoke because the city’s visible smoke ordinance is unenforceable, effectively enabling unlimited outdoor recreational burning.Isn’t it ironic that in Fort Collins, indoor wood burning appliances require such stringent pollution controls that few new home builders will install them, but outdoor burning appliances and pits with no pollution controls whatsoever are allowed with virtually no restrictions?The city’s own wood smoke information website reveals so many toxic wood smoke hazards that for health reasons alone, it seems like the city is practically negligent for not banning outdoor wood burning due to this known peril.Gently confronting offending neighbors and suggesting less polluting gas appliances is useless. You will invariably get strong pushback with an insistence it is their right to burn wood whenever they want. Calling the city’s code compliance office results in a reminder that outdoor burning is allowed, effectively putting the problem back on you. An enforceable city regulation is the only way to mitigate this growing nuisance.More appropriate alternatives exist for those that want to enjoy an open flame in their backyards. Gas appliances are far less polluting than wood fuels, making it very unlikely for neighbors to be affected. Gas is a far more responsible option consistent with the medium to high-density living lifestyles that now characterize Fort Collins.It is time to enable Fort Collins citizens to take back control of the air quality in their neighborhoods, in the same way as recent public smoking bans, and Colorado “rolling coal” legislation along roadways have provided the means to improve air quality in those places.
  • Ariesfire over 1 year ago
    There are responsible ways to burn outdoor fires and many families practice these out of respect for their neighbors. Those people should not be punished for others irresponsibility. If a measure is to be taken, it should be #1 education based and #2 give people suffering some help to alleviate the nuisance. An overall ban is unfair and inconsiderate of the diverse population of our city.
  • ilostmytouch over 1 year ago
    I frequently enjoy outdoor burning in my backyard or in the yards of friends or neighbors. It's an important part of our summer social landscape. Sometimes I smell smoke in my house from someone else's fire pit. I figure out which direction it's coming from and close the windows on that side. It's a very minor inconvenience and the smoke smell will clear out in a short amount of time. This is certainly not an area for government regulation (in fact the current city regulations are an unnecessary overreach of city authority in to private affairs of the people). The purpose of law and statutes is as a protection from harm, not a protection from inconvenience or minor nuisance. Individuals with significant respiratory issues should be utilizing an air filtration/regulation system and likely would not have their windows open in any case.
  • John S Haley over 1 year ago
    Over the past couple of days I have gotten e-mails regarding the City considering “banning” outdoor burning of wood in Fire Pits, etc. Any such ban, except during periods for high fire danger, is ill advised. I have also read reports that there have only been 56 complaints filed with the city over the past 5 years regarding smoke from fire pits. I do NOT have a fire pit, but several of my neighbors do, including, I think, the Mayor, and I do smell the smoke from time to time when they “fire” them up, but that does not offend me or my family. I just close the windows and we are fine. This only happens about 2 or maybe three times a year. Most of my neighbors are of the same opinion, don’t ban outdoor burning of wood unless there is a period of high fire danger! Although I don’t have a fire pit, I do have a smoker and smoke meats a couple of times a year. This is an all day process (if done right). I start around 6 am and go for about 12 to 14 hours. My smoker is very heavy gauge (bought in Hempstead, TX) and I smoke using various kinds of wood (such as cherry, oak, mesquite) to cook the meat. The same process as Famous Dave or other Bar-B- Que restaurants in Fort Collins follow when they are cooking meats. Will these restaurants have to close if the ban is passed? If not, why punish those of us who are doing the same thing? In my humble opinion, I think the city has more pressing issues to deal with considering the de minimus number of complaints reported to the city about fire pit smoke. City council (or staff) wondered off into “Boulder think” a few years ago when they proposed charging for plastic bags at local retail outlets (mostly grocery stores). Citizens rose up to put a stop to this nonsense and that could well happen again if Council proceeds with any such ban!
  • cfitzger68 over 1 year ago
    For the small number of complaints received on an annual basis, I'm not sure why this issue has even become a priority. Our fire pit is one of the things we enjoy most about our house. The times spent around the fire pit are pretty special to our family and friends. Not only that, I believe those experiences can also go a long way towards creating a sense of community with neighbors. I've never received a complaint. But I understand some people have real issues with it. If I had a neighbor that had a problem with the smoke, I would hope they could talk to me about it first and we could work together on a solution. I'd like to understand how the current process (complaint registered, homeowner warned...if they don't comply they get citations) is working...or not working. The process seems like a reasonable one to me, when neighbors aren't effectively working it out on their own. Are people using it? I'm open to different ideas. But a broad brush approach of a city-wide ban seems like a huge over-step given the very small minority that are complaining.
  • DB over 1 year ago
    The only way they got cigarette/cigar/pot/etc. smokers to take consideration of others around them who wanted to breathe non-smoky air was to pass laws. If people were courteous to others, maybe laws wouldn't be necessary. But they aren't so they are.
  • DB over 1 year ago
    We love having our house widows open in the evening to invite in fresh and cool air. Then the neighbors light up their patio campfire and we're gagging on smoke---in our own living room! Yes, it's a problem.
  • SilentBob over 1 year ago
    I'm having fun, who cares about you? 60+ house have to shutter because one person needs to light something on fire for, "fun". Really? So where does the pursuit of happiness argument land? One person? Fine. In that case, let's put up backyard shooting ranges, drive on the sidewalk, shoot off fireworks, blare the stereo, take a leak where ever we realize our bladder is full and yes, burn everything we can find made of wood and call it a fire pit. Because after all, I'm happy, and my happiness is all that matters, no matter who potentially can be hurt from my actions. And with indiscriminate wood smoke, who knows and who cares who might be injured.
  • Avanasse over 1 year ago
    In my humble opinion, considerate use of wood fires (small) in safe containment should be permissible. When the wind is calm and there isn’t a burn ban. Talking with neighbors has worked for us. We have elderly people and families with small children living near us and we have made sure that our neighbors around us are OK with our small fire. I think it is part of the small western town charm.
  • Alan over 1 year ago
    As we leave the winter season, one is bothered all day long by somebody, somewhere running a gasoline powered lawn mower. This contributes both to air pollution as well as to a continuous sound nuisance. Should we "ban" gasoline mowers?
  • city over 1 year ago
    We sleep on the second floor with the windows open because we do not have air conditioning. If our neighbors are using their fire pits past 9:30 we sometimes get smoke in our bedroom. It would help if fire burning is not permitted after 9:30.
  • Adiastra over 1 year ago
    I have asthma. We have a fire pit that we keep in the center of our yard. We use it occasionally during the summer fall and winter months. We've never had any complaints, we are conscious of the direction of the wind. Our neighbors often come over to enjoy the fire pit with us. There are many other issues that are much more important than worrying about the regulating of what people do in their own yards. If regulations like this are allowed to pass we will soon see a Cascade of regulations for all kinds of activities. If there's a problem with a fire pit in your neighborhood, talk to your neighbor. We don't need to regulate neighborhoods this way. The whole point of being a neighbor is to be neighborly. There's no reason to begin to limit liberties through government regulation when there are other less intrusive Solutions. If you live in a community with an H O A, this is the type of issue that should be taken to the board. If you live in a community that doesn't have an hoa, talk to your neighbor. otherwise that's the risk that you take by living in a neighborhood without an H O A. They're always benefits and costs that must be weighed before you make the purchase of a home. If you did not weigh these benefits, then you can't just regulate your way out of it now.
  • FredFortCollins over 1 year ago
    The very first sentence of the EXISTING nuisance code, Sec. 20-1(a) reads: "The emission or escape into the open air from any source or sources of smoke, ashes, dust, dirt, grime, acids, fumes, gases, vapors, odors or any other substances or combination of substances in such manner or in such amounts as to endanger or tend to endanger the health, comfort, safety or welfare of the public or to cause unreasonable injury or damage to property or to interfere with the comfortable enjoyment of property or normal conduct of business is hereby found and declared to be a public nuisance." City Council just voted to allow nuisance citations to be written without warning. The cops can come and force the fire to be extinguished and issue a citation under current law. Police - "We received a complaint about smoke. You're gonna have to put the fire out right now." Problem solved!
  • MRyan over 1 year ago
    This just doesn't seem like a big issue for our neighborhood, and perhaps for the city. It is mildly annoying when someone has a fire burning in the heat of the summer because we use a whole-house fan to cool and it sucks in a bit of smoke. But if I was more than mildly annoyed, I'd go down and have a friendly conversation with them. I'd oppose any restrictions on this minor issue for our neighborhood. Things generally work out better when neighbors talk to each other about issues than having the city regulate something that has attracted so few complaints over the years.
  • itsrturn over 1 year ago
    I would like to see restrictions put on fire pits in town. I have asthma and our rental house does not have central air. Often times we put a box fan in our bedroom window while we sleep. Only the living room has a wall mounted air conditioner. If a fire pit is burning nearby, I have to shut the window or otherwise experience breathing problems. Then our house is much hotter trying to sleep with having to close the window due to someone else's burning.
  • erinm70 over 1 year ago
    Our family enjoys sitting around our fire pit, and it would seem unfair to have a ban put on them. While I understand some people have medical issues that could become exacerbated by the wood smoke, I feel for them. But ... when do we stop wasting City time/money to look at issues that are not having a significant impact on the area? There are far more important issues to address than banning fire pits. After all this could be the one way a family comes together, to unwind, be outside, share some laughs or stories, or just sit and watch in awe of the beautiful & warm fire. NO to this ban!!
  • Charradm over 1 year ago
    I have a small portable outdoor fire pit that we enjoy mainly in late spring and in the fall, never in the summer as it’s too hot. So we use ours maybe 6-7 times a year, but we do thoroughly enjoy it when we do. I’d hate to see us not be able to sit there as a family in our own backyard and enjoy it while my neighbors are allowed to smoke cigarettes like chimneys in their backyard and I can’t open my windows because of that. If you ban backyard fire pits you should ban cigarette smokers and pot smokers too.