It appears the city of Leavenworth will soon prohibit burning in barrels.

It appears the city of Leavenworth will soon prohibit burning in barrels.

People in the city currently are allowed to burn brush and tree branches in screen-covered barrels without obtaining a permit.

But Fire Chief Gary Birch has recommended banning this practice in the future as part of updating open burning regulations for the city.

City commissioners discussed proposed changes to the open burning regulations during a work session Tuesday.

Current regulations also allow people to burn brush and tree debris in piles on their properties if they obtain permits from the Leavenworth Fire Department.

Birch had recommended banning this type of burning as well. But he later proposed a compromise of allowing people to obtain burn permits but limiting it to two 30-day periods, one in the spring and the other in the fall.

Mayor Mike Griswold suggested Tuesday expanding each of the 30-day periods to 45 days.

He said this would allow residents to burn brush and tree debris for a total of about four months, or one quarter of the year.

“Would you have a problem with that chief?” Griswold said.

Birch indicated he did not have a problem with increasing the number of days. He said there would be no cost for residents to obtain permits for burning brush and tree debris piles.

Commissioner Nancy Bauder said she supports allowing people to also burn in barrels if they obtain a permit. But Bauder said she was probably the only commissioner who supported this, so she was letting go of the idea.

Commissioners Mark Preisinger and Jermaine Wilson were absent. But City Manager Paul Kramer said Preisinger had indicated he supported the changes as proposed. Kramer said Wilson supported creating an exemption for burning in barrels.

Griswold expressed concern about the effect smoke from burn barrels can have on people’s health.

The three commissioners who were present Tuesday reached a consensus for allowing people to obtain permits to burn piles of brush and tree debris during two 45-day periods each year. There was no consensus for allowing people to continue to burn in barrels with or without permits.

Kramer said the new regulations are part of an administrative policy, and the changes will not be brought back to the City Commission for a formal vote.

The new regulations include exemptions that will allow people to obtain permits for things such as ceremonial bonfires. And people will be able to have camp fires and use portable outdoor fireplaces, such as chimineas, without permits.

Twitter: @LVTNewsJohnR