CHAPTER VII. FIRECHAPTER VII. FIRE\ARTICLE 3. OPEN BURNING

Definitions.  For the purposes of this article, the following words and phrases shall have the following meanings:

(a)   Air contaminant – Any particulate matter, gas or vapor (exclusive of water vapor) including but not limited to smoke, charred paper, dust, soot, grime, carbon or any other particulate matter or irritating odorous matter, fumes or gases, or any combination thereof;

(b)   Air contaminate source – Any source of emission of an air contaminate whether privately or publicly owned or operated;

(c)   Air pollution – the presence in the ambient air of one or more air contaminants in quantities, or characteristics and of a duration which directly or proximately cause or contribute to injury to human, animal or plant life, health or property, or which unreasonably interferes with the enjoyment of life or use of property.

(d)   Ambient air – All space outside of buildings, stacks or exterior ducts;

(e)   Barbeque pit – a pit that has a circumference no greater than 3 feet and a depth of at least 1 foot and constructed of concrete or other noncombustible material. The opening of the barbecue pit shall be protected in a secured manner by wire screen covers, constructed of not less than No. 9 gauge wire and not greater than 1/4-inch mesh and must cover the entire circumference of the pit. 

(f)   Open burning – The burning of any materials, including the flag of the United States of America, wherein air contaminants resulting from combustion are emitted directly into the ambient air without passing through a stack or chimney from an enclosed chamber.  For the purpose of this definition, a chamber shall be regarded as enclosed when, during the time combustion takes place, only such apertures, ducts, stacks, flues or chimneys are open as are necessary to provide combustion air and to permit the escape of exhaust gases.  A 55-gallon metal drum or wire trash burner or similar vehicle does not qualify as a property combustion chamber;

(g)   Outdoor fireplace – a commercially designed and built outdoor fireplace with a protective spark arresting screen or a professionally built outdoor fireplace constructed of concrete or other approved noncombustible material;

(h)   Pollution control authority – the authority shall be the fire chief;

(i)    Recreational fires – fires for pleasure, religions, ceremonial, cooking or other similar purposes;

(j)    Refuse – Garbage, rubbish, trade wastes, leaves, salvageable material, agricultural wastes or other wastes;

(k)   Trade wastes – solid, liquid or gaseous material resulting from construction, the conduct of any business trade of industry or any demolition operation including but not limited to plastics, cardboard cartons, grease, oil or chemicals.

(Ord. 532, Sec. 1; Code 1984, 8-401; Ord. 789; Code 2015)

(a)   It shall be unlawful for any person to dispose of refuse by open burning or to cause, allow or permit open burning within the city.

(b)   This article shall apply equally to the disposal of trade wastes or any refuse by open burning by commercial facilities as well as residential identities.

(c)   A citation may be issued by a member of the police department, a building inspector or firefighter in any situation where such official observes an illegal fire, whether or not a complaint has been received.

(Code 1984, 8-402; Code 2015)

Exceptions to Section 7-302, as provided in this section, shall be made by permit only.

(a)   Open burning shall be permitted only when it can be shown that such open burning is the only feasible method of disposal and that disposal by burning is in the public interest. Any person intending to engage in such open burning shall file a request in writing, in duplicate, and obtain the written approval of the fire chief. The application shall state the following:

(1)   The name, address and telephone number of the person submitting the application.

(2)   The type of business or activity involved.

(3)   A description of the proposed equipment and operating practices, the type, quantity and composition and amount of air contaminants to be released to the atmosphere, where known.

(4)   The schedule of burning operations.

(5)   The exact location where the open burning will occur.

(6)   Reasons why open burning is the only feasible method of disposal and why disposal is in the public interest.

(b)   Upon approval of the application by the fire chief, the person may proceed with the operation without being in violation of this article, but such approval shall not exempt the applicant from the provisions of any other law, ordinance or regulations.

(c)   Approved burning will only be performed under constant supervision of the applicant or his or her agent.

(Code 1984, 8-403; Code 2015)

The open burning of tree trunks, tree limbs, vegetation, untreated waste timber or other waste material shall not be a violation of this article when such burning takes place at the site of a disposal area licensed for that purpose pursuant to the laws of the county, and located outside of the city limits.  

(Code 1984, 8-404; Code 2015)

This article shall not apply to:

(a)   Fires set in connection with agricultural operations related to the commercial growing or harvesting of crops or for the purpose of clearing brush or trees for agricultural purposes from areas zoned for agriculture.

(b)   Fires set for the purpose of instruction and training of city firefighters in the methods of fighting fires.

(c)   Campfires in approved camping areas; provided that the fire is not more than four feet in diameter at the base.

(Code 1984, 8-405; Ord. 789; Code 2015)

(a)   Recreational fires shall not be conducted within 15 feet of a structure, combustible material or property line unless contained in a barbecue grill, smoker, barbecue pit or outdoor fireplace.  Conditions which could cause a fire to spread to within 15 feet of a structure shall be eliminated prior to ignition.  Recreational fires shall be constantly attended by a person knowledgeable in the use of a fire extinguisher.  A fully functional garden hose or a 4-A rating fire extinguisher shall be readily available for use at recreational fires.  Outdoor fireplaces and barbecue pits must be approved by the Fire Chief or his designee prior to their first use.

(b)   Discontinuance:  The Fire Chief, Assistant Fire Chief or Butler County Sheriff’s Deputy is authorized to require that recreational fires be immediately extinguished if such fires are determined to constitute a hazardous condition or are being used to burn rubbish, trash, refuse, yard waste or if the Fire Chief or Assistant Fire Chief determines that smoke emissions are offensive to occupants of the surrounding property.

(c)   Recreational burning is not allowed when surface wind speeds exceed 15 mph or when local jurisdiction has issued a burn ban.

(d)   Violation of any of the above Sections shall be unlawful and shall be punished as an unclassified misdemeanor, which can include fines of up to $500 per occurrence.

(Ord. 789; Code 2015)