Bylaw would prohibit land-clearing fires

Cumberland council has given second reading to a bylaw amendment to prohibit land-clearing fires that are not forestry-related and on private managed forest land.

Air quality studies indicate the village is a hotspot for wood smoke. Implementing the above ban is expected to improve air quality.

Village staff propose that following three weeks of public consultation via survey, council could consider third reading Aug. 14 and adoption Sept. 5.

Coun. Jesse Ketler feels a survey is not needed because the village doesn’t need to be told its behind other municipalities on this issue.

Village staff notes that prohibiting non-forestry land-clearing fires might make it difficult for residents to dispose of yard waste — which could increase the likelihood of illegal dumping and, in turn, increase the fire hazard in Cumberland.