Fire Department - Fire Marshal - Code Enforcement Section
Open Burning Health Department Regulation
TITLE 5. FIRES
11-5-102. Authorization for certain fires without a license.
11-5-104. Notice of violation and cure.
§ 11-5-101. Definitions.
In this title, the following words have the meanings indicated.
(1) "Air pollution" means the presence in the outdoor
atmosphere of any substance that is present in such quantities and is of such
duration that it may be predicted with reasonable certainty to be injurious
to property or to human, plant, or animal life or unreasonably interferes
with the proper enjoyment of property because of the emission of odors,
solids, vapors, liquids, or gases.
(2) "Emission" means any substance other than water,
in an uncombined form, discharged into the atmosphere, including odors,
particulate matter, vapors, and gases.
(3) "Household refuse" means waste generated by
household activities that contains a mixture of trash, rubbish, and garbage,
a moisture content of up to 50%, and up to 7% incombustible solids.
(4) "Opacity" means the degree to which emissions
reduce the transmission of light and obscure the view of an object in the
background as described in the United States Environmental Protection
Agency's April, 1983, Reference Method 9 - "Visible Determination of the
opacity of Emissions From Stationary Sources," and any subsequent revisions.
(5) "Open fire" means a fire in which material is
burned in the open or in a receptacle other than one connected to a stack or
(6) "Salamander" means a device fueled by oil or gas
that is designed specifically for space heating or warming of outdoor workers
(1985 Code, Art. 14, § 7-101) (Bill No. 70-92)
§ 11-5-102. Authorization for certain fires without a license.
(a) With approval from the Health Officer and under
supervision by the Fire Chief. With the approval of the Health Officer and
with all reasonable means taken to minimize smoke, the Fire Chief or the Fire
Chief's designee may permit an open fire when necessary to instruct public
firefighters or industrial employees under supervision of the Fire Control
Official or to protect public health or safety when other means for disposing
of hazardous materials are not available.
(b) When license not required. The following open fires are
allowed without a license if the fire does not create a nuisance or air
(1) In those areas where no provision is made for
public collection of leaves, burning of leaves originating on the premises by
householders is allowed if the fire is located at least 300 feet from any
habitable dwelling or place where people work or congregate.
(2) In those areas where there is no public collection
of refuse, burning of household refuse originating on the premises by the
householder is allowed if the fire is located at least 300 feet from any
habitable dwelling or place where people work or congregate and materials are
not burned that create smoke emissions of an opacity of 20% or greater.
(3) An open fire is allowed for the cooking of food on
other than commercial premises.
(4) An open fire with a volume of less than one cubic
yard is allowed for recreational purposes, such as campfires and bonfires.
(5) A salamander designed specifically for space
heating or warming of outdoor workers and facilities is allowed.
(1985 Code, Art. 14, §§ 7-203, 7-204) (Bill No. 70-92; Bill No. 7-03)
§ 11-5-103. License.
(a) Generally required. Except as otherwise provided in this
title, a person may not cause or allow an open fire without a license.
(b) Issuance. The Health Department shall issue a license
allowing an open fire if the Health Officer makes written findings that:
(1) the material to be burned originated on the
premises on which it is to be burned;
(2) there is no practical alternate method for the
disposal of the material to be burned or to conduct the desired activity;
(3) the fire will not create a hazardous condition of
air pollution or nuisance;
(4) there will be no burning within 500 yards of an
occupied structure or a heavily traveled public road, except that the Health
Officer may recommend that a license be issued for disposal by burning by a
method acceptable to the Health Officer if this distance limitation cannot be
(5) fire control laws or regulations will not be
(6) other conditions to minimize the creation of
smoke, prevent nuisances and air pollution, and to protect the public health,
safety, comfort, and property of any person will be met.
(1985 Code, Art. 14, §§ 7-201, 7-202) (Bill No. 70-92)
§ 11-5-104. Notice of violation and cure.
A person who starts, causes, allows, or facilitates a fire without a
license issued by the Health Department or otherwise in violation of this
subtitle shall promptly extinguish the fire on notice from the Health
Department, Fire Department, or Police Department.
(1985 Code, Art. 14, § 7-104) (Bill No. 70-92)
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