North Bay residents might be able to have controlled open burning in the New Year. Monday night council passed the change at the committee stage and next Monday the proposed by-law comes up for a full vote. At the committee level, Mike Anthony and chair of community services Mark King both opposed the proposed by-law. King is against it for several reasons including health. King also doesn’t believe council can pass legislation to pollute people’s air which is what happens if smoke from one yard drifts into a neighbour’s yard. One thing King likes about the proposal is fire chief Grant Love says controlled open burning will not increase fire department staff levels. Some rules people need to keep in mind is the burning has to be in an approved device and you can’t burn lumber, leaves or branches. Briquettes, large tree parts and store bought wood are alright. In addition the burning must be in a pre-fab device and it has to be at least 18 feet from any structure. The fire chief says fines can range from $250 to $450. Also homeowners need to have a way to put out a fire, like a garden house nearby, just in case anything happens. Despite King’s and Anthony’s objections, King believes there’s enough support for the by-law to pass next week. If it approved, the by-law would take effect next January 1st.