Cough, cough, sniff, sniff.

Yup, there's that familiar smell of burning softwood wafting through the open windows as it looks like the neighbors are using their fire pit again.

A few weeks ago we wrote about fire pits and brought up a level of ambiguity as to whether or not they truly are legal in your Maine city or town.  Within most local rules, including those within the City of Bangor, it really comes down to if a particular situation is a "public nuisance" or not.

For instance, let's say that you and the family are sitting around the fire pit one night while enjoying the crackling sounds of the flames and a cold beverage or two, and a member of the local fire department shows up because the neighbors complained of smoke getting into their house, a house where a person that suffers from asthma lives.

The member of the local fire department then has to make a decision.  Does he or she make you put the fire out?

Recently, a man from the Portland area wrote a letter to the editor of the Portland Press Herald about fire pits in his neighborhood and the feeling of "trepidation" about what the night would bring, especially when it came to opening up the windows of the house to let the cool night air in.

He called his neighbor an "inconsiderate person (who) wants to play caveman."

As we mentioned in our previous post about fire pits, we realize how popular they've become and how much those that have them, enjoy them. We also remember it wasn't that long ago that almost every home on the street had a big burn barrel in the backyard to take care of that week's trash, and that eventually every city and town within Maine made those illegal because of the smoke and local health hazards that they created.

Would it make sense that the more homes that there are within an area the stricter the rules should be when it comes to fire pits, comparable to the rules made when it comes to shooting off fireworks?

For instance, it is illegal for residents of Ellsworth to use fireworks within the "Compact Urban Area", the area of the city homes where homes are located close to each other.  It's illegal to shoot off fireworks in Bangor, because of the density of urban neighborhoods within that city.

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