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Recreational Fires and Open Burning in Fort Wayne: a Primer

June 6, 2018

There have been questions and concerns shared about both recreational fires and open burning in the neighborhood. We hope these press releases from the City sheds some light on the situation.

City press release:
RECREATIONAL CAMP FIRES

There is a city ordinance that shall be followed whether you are installing a campfire/fire pit, an enclosed bowl type or fireplace type enclosure for a recreational fire, please see the ordinance stated below. With any of these products, please remember to follow all the manufacturers’ specifications, directions and any and all guidelines recommended by the manufacturer. Please take all fire safety precautions when cooking or having a recreational campfire.

The following is the city ordinance relating to open burning and recreational camp fires.

The code states this;

A barbeque pit or grill is a stationary or portable device, with either electric, gas or charcoal fuel, which is used for the preparation of food and is allowed by code, but not within or on balconies of any apartment complex.

A fireplace(like an in-home style whether built or store bought) which is meant to be a part of your deck or patio is not regulated but there are some safety issues to think about which are the same as the rules for a fire pit. A fire pit or campfire which is meant for recreation, scouting events or family cookouts shall be subject to the following conditions listed;

  • A garden hose connected to a water supply, buckets, shovel, fire extinguisher or other approved fire extinguishing shall be readily available at the burn site.
  • Only wood products shall be burned-no leaves, paper or trash.
  • A fire shall be attended by a responsible party at all times until completely extinguished.
  • A fire shall be located at least 25 feet away from any structure, fence or right of way.
  • A fire shall not exceed an area 3 feet wide by 2 feet high.
  • If the open burning creates a smoke nuisance, or a hazardous condition exists, the open burning shall be immediately extinguished.

Anyone who recklessly, knowingly or intentionally kindles, or maintains any open burning consisting of a trash fire, leaf fire, bonfire, refuse fire, or other open burning that damages property of another person or spreads to property of another person may be liable for criminal mischief.

Any person who maintains burning of combustible materials out of doors or open burning not permitted shall be in violation and may be fined 50 dollars. If the violator does not appear in response to a notice issued to them within a period of 30 calendar days from the date and time shown on the notice, the penalty shall be 75 dollars.

If you have any further questions you may contact the Fort Wayne Fire Department at the 260-427-1479.

Please take the extra time necessary to exercise safety at all times.

 

AND THIS ALSO:

As the leaves begin to fall from the trees, people look for ways to remove them. For those considering burning leaves, twigs or trash that have accumulated on their lawns, the Fort Wayne Fire Department reminds everyone to avoid open burning as a general rule.

FWFD Fire Marshal Jim Murua says, “No one is to kindle or maintain open burning consisting of a trash fire, leaf fire, refuse fire, or other open burning according to Fort Wayne City Code.”

He explains that there are two exemptions allowed under certain conditions.

1. Bonfires celebrating school pep rallies are one exemption which requires obtaining a Burn Permit from FWFD at least 24 hours in advance of the permitted open burning. Call 427-1102 for more information or with questions.

2. Recreational camp fires for scouting or family cookout activities are allowed without a Burn Permit and are subject to the conditions listed below.

These exemptions must be subject to the following:

· A garden hose connected to a water supply, buckets, shovel, fire extinguisher or other approved fire-extinguishing equipment shall be readily available at the burn site.

· Only wood products shall be burned ‘€“ no leaves, paper or trash.

· A fire shall be attended by a responsible party at all times until completely extinguished.

· If the open burning creates a smoke nuisance, or a hazardous condition exists, the open burning shall be immediately extinguished.

· A fire shall be located at least 25 feet away from any structure, fence or right of way.

· A fire shall not exceed an area three feet wide by two feet high.

Anyone who recklessly, knowingly or intentionally kindles, or maintains any open burning consisting of a trash fire, leaf fire, bonfire, refuse fire, or other open burning that damages property of another person or spreads to property of another person may be liable for criminal mischief.

Any person who maintains burning of combustible materials out of doors or open burning not permitted shall be in violation and may be fined $50. If the violator does not appear in response to a notice issued to them within a period of 30 calendar days from the date and time shown on the notice, the penalty shall be $75. Repeat violators will be fined.

Please take the extra time necessary to exercise safety at all times.

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