Group Wants Edina Bonfires Banned Due to Health Concerns
Outdoor bonfires are a fall tradition for many Minnesotans. But some say they should be banned.
A group called "Take Back the Air" hired attorney Gale Mellum to ask the City of Edina to ban outdoor wood burning fires, arguing that the burning violates the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Group organizer Julie Mellum, who suffers from severe asthma explains, "I think we all have a guaranteed basic civil right to breathe clean air on our own properties, but also at public spaces and to be able to attend public gatherings. Wood smoke does prevent an actual physical barrier, but cities are supposed to remove barriers so that all people can enjoy the parks and public spaces like streets and sidewalks."
Edina officials don't seem to plan any changes. City Manager Scott Neal says, "We're not considering any changes to our current regulations about outdoor wood burning." He went on to add, "Human beings gathering around a campfire is long tradition in this state and in the country."