New rules are on the way for backyard fire pits.

Summer is all about kickin' back by the fire pit! In Bangor, the regulations regarding the city's open burning ordinance are changing. The City Council has yet to vote on the new rules but here's a look at what's being proposed.

Currently any 'exposed fire' in Bangor requires a permit, even in fire bowls or in a outdoor fireplace. The change would allow folks to light a fire (for recreational purposes) in any item designed to contain a fire, without a permit. Fires contained by cinder blocks or rocks would still need a permit.

The ordinance will add new requirements as well. The fire pit or ring must be less than three feet in diameter. Burning materials must be stacked less than two feet high. It also need to be a safe distance from buildings, trees, decks and property lines.

To prevent hazardous smoke around neighboring residents, there's a list of items that can't be burned. This includes:

  • trash
  • cardboard
  • plastic
  • foam
  • construction debris
  • pressure-treated or painted wood
  • wet wood
  • rotted wood
  • diseased wood
  • moldy wood or leaves

Additionally, someone must be close by to the fire with a garden hose, bucket of water or fire extinguisher. If the wind is blowing more than 15 MPH or the State Forest Division has classified a Class 1 or 2 fire danger, no burning is allowed. You also can't light a fire as a renter or visitor to a public or private property without proof of owner consent.

If a complaint is called in, the fire department will send someone out to see if the rules are being followed. If not, fines start at $250.

The council will vote Monday, June 23.