It’s the oldest trick in the book for Cumberland residents who need to justify their backyard fire when safety officials show up: Have a rock wrapped in tin foil on hand.
But technically, says Fire Chief Nicholas Anderson, even a fake potato ready to eat isn’t reason enough to be allowed to have a fire under current ordinances.
Town Councilor Robert Shaw has been working with Anderson on drafting potential new rules governing backyard fires, saying he wants the Fire Department to have rules to go by when responding to complaints, but also allow residents to use the fire pits that “90 percent” of them are using anyway.
“I want to make fire pits safe and legal in the town of Cumberland and without having to use any loophole for them to be allowed when there are no safety regulations in place,” he said. “It’s a pro-fire pit approach, not an anti-fire pit approach.”