Bill would say Christmas trees in churches, Capitol rotunda not a fire hazard

State and local fire chiefs could not prohibit any community from putting up a natural cut Christmas tree, or calling it a fire hazard, under a bill being circulated at the state Capitol.

The bill sponsored by Rep. Jesse Kremer, R-Kewaskum, and Sen. Steve Nass, R-Whitewater, said that there has been concern about the use of natural cut Christmas trees in public places, including churches.

“Some communities, like Milwaukee and Merrill, have presumed that natural cut Christmas trees are permissible until a complaint is received,” according to a memo on the legislation. “However, some fire chiefs in smaller communities are imposing a flat-out ban on natural cut Christmas trees with little to no explanation.”

The memo does not detail which communities may be banning natural trees.

The memo said the bill would “create a presumption that a tree is safe until proven otherwise, whether in a place of worship or the Wisconsin State Capitol.”

Kremer and Nass are currently looking for co-sponsors.