An updated fire by-law will come into effect this year for the citizens of Altona.

"We're looking at a new fire by-law for the Town of Altona, and in one of the sections it involves burning outdoors," said Altona Fire Chief Greg Zimmerman.

As we're coming into the fire season, and things are starting to dry up, Zimmerman said it's worth discussing the requirements around outdoor fire pits.

"Any outdoor fire pit should be about 25ft away from any combustible building, we are requesting that everybody puts a screen over top of their fires to help rest the sparks that come off the fire pit, and we require everybody to use clean dry wood so we don't have a lot of smoke production where you're annoying your neighbours."

He notes these aren't necessarily new rules, but are now better written into the new by-law. If someone is in violation of these rules, Zimmerman said the fire department would interfere.

"Right now, basically, what we would do is come and talk to you and ask you to extinguish your fire," said Zimmerman.

He adds never to leave an outdoor fire unattended, and to be aware of the wind - and extinguish the fire if strong winds occur.

Zimmerman also has tips when it comes to barbecuing.

"Never have a BBQ inside... because whether it's charcoal or propane, they do let off carbon monoxide and it can be very hazardous to you. Any BBQ should be placed several feet away from the side of a building, just in the event of a grease fire making contact with an overhang or part of the building."

If it's a propane BBQ, it's important to make sure all the connections are in good shape and tight fitting.

Should you smell propane during the BBQ, Zimmerman says to shut off your propane tank immediately or call the fire department.