Burning Ordinance & Permit Information

Sec. 9-1. - Open burning.

(a)  Definitions: For purposes hereof, the following terms are defined as herein. Otherwise, terms shall carry their ordinary and customary definitions:

(1)  Landscape waste means dry leaves; trimmings from trees and shrubs; tree limbs and branches, vines and the like. Landscape waste does not include grass clippings, green trimmings or branches, or wet leaves.

(2)  Smolder means to burn sluggishly without open flame producing smoke.

(b)  Open burning is prohibited, except as herein provided.

(c)  The open burning of landscape waste is permitted on the first and third full weekends of the calendar months of April, May, June, July, and December. In the month of August open burning of landscape waste is permitted on the first and second weekend except for the weekend when the annual Balloon Fest event is scheduled. In the months of September, October, and November, open burning of landscape waste is permitted on each weekend except for the weekend when the annual Halloween parade is scheduled. In the months of January, February, and March the open burning of landscape waste is permitted only on the first full weekend. On weekends when open burning is allowed, it will be permitted from 6:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. The forgoing notwithstanding, no open burning will be permitted on a legal holiday.

(d)  Recreation fires, being fires used to entertain or cook, pursuant to permit issued by the city, subject to the following conditions:

(1)  Recreation fires may burn sticks, limbs, logs, charcoal, cooking or camping fuel only.

(2)  No recreational fires shall be burned between midnight and 6:00 a.m.

(3)  No recreational fires shall be burned during periods of high wind or extreme drought.

(4)  Recreational fires may not exceed an area dimension of six (6) feet by six (6) feet.

(5)  Garbage, trash, refuse, lumber, building materials, tires or landscape waste, except as otherwise described, shall not be burned in a recreational fire.

(6)  Recreational fires shall be extinguished immediately upon direction of police or fire personnel.

(7)  To receive a permit, the applicant must file the written application to the City Manager's Office or the fire department at least twenty-four (24) hours prior to the planned recreational fire. Only six (6) permits will be issued to a residence in any calendar year.

(e)  Burning of large accumulations of landscape waste or grasslands are permitted, subject to the following restrictions:

(1)  Such burning shall not occur during periods of high wind or extreme droughts.

(2)  Such burning shall be limited to a period of three (3) consecutive days, and must be extinguished fully at the end of the permitted burn period. Said period may be extended up to three (3) days with an extension granted by the fire department.

(3)  Such burning shall not be conducted within one hundred (100) yards of any residence, except with the written consent of the occupant thereof.

(4)  Such burning shall not occur without a permit issued by the City Manager or the fire department. The owner of the property upon which such burn is to occur, or his agent, shall file a written application for a permit with the fire department at least twenty-four (24) hours before any burning; the application shall be accompanied with a permit fee of one hundred dollars ($100.00). The applicant shall allow the fire department to inspect the burn site and the material to be burned prior to the burn, and will remove any ineligible material upon direction of the fire department. Said applicant may apply for the three-day extension of the original permit application to the fire department and payment of an additional fee of seventy-five dollars ($75.00).

(f)  Any open burning permitted under this section shall be attended by a responsible adult.

(g)  No open burning permitted under this section shall be allowed to smolder, except for a burn permitted under subsection (e) above.

(h)  No open burning permitted under this section may be conducted on any city street, roadway, alley, or manhole cover.

(i)  Any open burning permitted under this section shall be halted and extinguished immediately upon direction of the city manager, fire chief, police chief, or their agents if they determine that the open burning is being conducted in an illegal or unsafe manner, or unsafe place, or constitutes a danger to surrounding property or nearby structures, or which is creating unreasonable quantities of smoke. Any person who fails or refuses to comply with such an order to halt or extinguish the open burning shall be guilty of an offense.

(j)  In the event that burning of landscape wastes on a weekend as designated in subsection (c) above is made unsafe or impractical because of weather conditions or in any event that it is deemed necessary by the City Manager, the City Manager may, in his sole discretion, designate any date as a day on which the burning of landscape wastes will be permitted. On such a designated dates, the hours of permitted open burning of landscape wastes set forth in subsection (c) above shall apply. These special burn dates may include the entire city or may include only certain Open Burn Zones, as designated on the Open Burning Regions map on file in the City Clerk's office.

(k)  In the event of a severe storm resulting in an excess amount of downed limbs and branches, the city manager may declare a special open burning day to dispose of said limbs and branches. Said special open burning day will be on a Saturday, from 12:00 noon to 6:00 p.m.

(l)  If it becomes necessary for the city to dispatch its fire department or any portion thereof to extinguish an illegal open burning, the person conducting said fire may be required to pay directly to city, in addition to any fine levied, the sum of two hundred dollars ($200.00) to cover costs incurred by the city. Said sum shall be billed by the city and shall be payable within thirty (30) days of billing. The city manager is authorized to pursue whatever legal remedies are available to collect said sums.

(m)  First time violators, per household and/or individual, of this section shall be issued a written warning. Subsequent violations shall be issued an ordinance violation ticket and will be subjected to penalties as set forth in Ordinance No. 005-14. Households shall be defined as any person residing within or acting for a residential or commercial structure.

(Code 1963, § 11-1-14; Ord. No. O02-24, § 1, 9-9-02; Ord. No. O04-34, § 1, 6-23-04; Ord. No. O04-61, § 1, 10-11-04; Ord. No. O07-38, § 1, 6-25-07; Ord. No. O08-18, §§ 1, 2, 3-10-08; Ord. No. O08-81, §§ 1, 2, 6-9-08; Ord. No. O10-34, § 1, 7-12-10; Ord. No. O14-37, 10-14-14)