Now that the weather’s nice, people tend to spend more time outdoors, and some people enjoy a summer night fire.

There has been some confusion regarding North Tonawanda’s open burning policy, North Tonawanda Assistant Fire Chief and Fire Prevention Officer Leon Szczerbinski said. The fire department has regularly responded to complaints about open fires in the city.

The city code states that a permit is required for any outdoor fire used for anything other than cooking. Szczerbinski will not issue a permit for recreational open burning, he said.

Fire pits are becoming popular, but because smoke is a nuisance in North Tonawanda, they can’t be used in the city, Szczerbinski said.

“It’s definitely legal to sell them,” he said. “It’s just illegal to use them.”

Szczerbinski stressed the fire department only responds to complaints and doesn’t go out looking for problems, he said. When the fire department responds, the department simply asks people to put the fire out, unless they become belligerent.

“If people cooperate with us we’re willing to cooperate with them,” he said.

Szczerbinski will issue permits for open burning at special events, but the permits come with restrictions.