Township of White, PA
Indiana County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Supervisors of the Township of White 4-22-1998 by Ord. No. 951. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Parks and recreation — See Ch. 189.
Property maintenance — See Ch. 210.
Solid waste; recycling — See Ch. 257.

§ 105-1 Statutory authority; declaration.

A. 
This chapter is enacted pursuant to §§ 1527 and 1801 of the Second Class Township Code, 53 P.S. §§ 66527 and 66801.
B. 
It is hereby declared to be a matter of public safety to regulate fires and open burning in the Township of White for the purposes of:
(1) 
Prevention of injury to plant and animal life and to property.
(2) 
Protection of the comfort and convenience of the public.

§ 105-2 Definitions.

For the purposes of this chapter, the following words and terms shall have the meanings ascribed to them herein:
CONTAINED FIRES
Any fire contained in an incinerator, fireplace or a fireproof container.
LEAF WASTE
Leaves, garden residue, shrubbery and tree trimmings, and similar material, but not including grass clippings.
[Added 12-21-2011 by Ord. No. 1043]
NONCONTAINED FIRE
Any fire not included in the definition of a "contained fire."
OUTDOOR COOKING FIRE
Any fire intended for cooking that is contained in a cooking grill, or a cooking pit having an adequate fire ring and a coverage area of less than two square yards.
OUTDOOR FIRES
Any fire set or maintained outside of a building, except outdoor cooking fire as herein defined.
PERSONS
Any individual, partnership, organization, association, agency, firm, estate, or corporation and any legal or commercial entity.
RESPONSIBLE ADULT
An individual 18 years or older who is not under the influence of drugs or alcohol or suffering from any other disability which would impair his or her ability to properly supervise a fire.
WOOD and WOOD PRODUCTS
Trees and tree branches greater than five inches in diameter, untreated lumber, untreated wood products, and paper products, except that any items defined in the definition of "leaf waste" herein and/or any items required to be recycled in accordance with § 257-2, Mandatory recycling, as amended, shall not be burned.
[Amended 12-21-2011 by Ord. No. 1043]

§ 105-3 Limitations on burning.

A. 
General standards.
(1) 
It shall be unlawful for any person to ignite or feed any outdoor fire for the burning of any materials whatsoever, except for the burning of wood and wood products.
(2) 
Nothing herein shall be construed to prevent fire-fighting training by Township-designated fire-fighting organizations.
(3) 
Fires set by property owners or farm tenants in conjunction with legitimate farming operations shall be exempt from the requirements of this chapter except as their burning activities relate to Subsections A(5) and B herein, and provided the fire does not include the burning of hazardous materials.
(4) 
Nothing herein shall be deemed to prohibit outdoor cooking fires, providing that reasonable safeguards are maintained.
(5) 
No fire shall be permitted to burn that produces smoke or odor which:
(a) 
Interferes with the navigation of aircraft in the vicinity of the Indiana County Airport.
(b) 
Interferes with travel on any public roadway.
(c) 
Creates a nuisance or hardship for other property owners or tenants in the vicinity of the offending fire.
B. 
Public roads and public properties. No person shall set, start, feed, permit to burn or maintain any fire upon any of the public streets, sidewalks, alleys or public grounds in White Township, except where a designated area has been set aside or reserved for this purpose and an appropriate container has been provided to contain such fire.
C. 
Safe distance.
(1) 
Contained fires and noncontained fires shall comply with the following safe distance requirements:
(a) 
Contained fires shall be located at least 20 feet from any property line or public road line, and at least 40 feet from any neighboring house or building.
(b) 
Noncontained fires with a coverage area of less than two square yards shall be located at least 20 feet from any property line or public road line, and at least 40 feet from any neighboring house or building.
(c) 
Noncontained fires with a coverage area of more than two square yards shall be located at least 50 feet from any property line or public road line, and at least 100 feet from any neighboring house or building.
(d) 
Noncontained fires with a coverage area of more than 20 square yards shall be allowed only by special permission in accordance with Subsection F herein.
(2) 
Not withstanding the above, no fire shall be set, started, fed, permitted to burn or maintained where such fire may endanger any building or property, except where such building or property is used by the Fire Department for training purposes.
D. 
Control of burning and unattended fires.
(1) 
No outdoor fire shall be allowed to burn unattended without a responsible adult being present at all times and without readily available fire-extinguishing apparatus/supplies.
(2) 
No outdoor fire shall be permitted to burn whenever drought or extreme weather conditions exist or when a ban on burning has been placed into effect by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania or other competent governmental body. The Board of Supervisors may prohibit any and all outdoor fires when atmospheric conditions or local circumstances make such fires hazardous.
(3) 
No outdoor fire shall be set that results in uncontrolled burning of vegetation (field fire).
(4) 
Contained fires shall be confined in a noncombustible container with a capacity of not more than a fifty-five gallon drum, covered with a wire screen of one-half-inch or smaller mesh to prevent the discharge of sparks. Contained fires may exceed the capacity of a fifty-five gallon drum, provided the container is noncombustible, fully enclosed, and equipped with a flue that prevents the discharge of sparks.
(5) 
Noncontained fires shall be situated on a level, noncombustible surface and shall be provided with a fire ring of noncombustible material.
(6) 
All outdoor fires shall be conducted only on the premises owned or rented or under the control of the person responsible for the fire.
E. 
Extinguishing unsafe fires. It is a violation of this chapter for any person to allow any fire to burn under adverse weather conditions or unsupervised, or otherwise in an unsafe manner. Any such fire shall be extinguished by the property owner or tenant immediately upon request by an official of the Township or an official of the Township designated fire company. Said Township or fire company official may extinguish the unsafe fire in the absence of the property owner or tenant, or where the property owner or tenant refuses to comply with the request to extinguish the unsafe fire.
F. 
Hours. Outdoor fires shall not be permitted to burn or smolder between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m.
G. 
Special circumstances.
(1) 
In the event that it is necessary to have a noncontained fire covering an area of 20 square yards of more, or to have a noncontained fire at times other than permitted under this chapter, special permission must be obtained in advance from the White Township Manager or his designee.
(2) 
In the event any fire company is required to respond to a fire which violates the provisions of this chapter, a service fee may be levied by the responding fire company.

§ 105-4 Enforcement; violations and penalties.

A. 
Any person, whether as principal or agent, firm or corporation, who shall violate this chapter, or assist or abet its violation, upon conviction thereof in an action brought before a Magisterial District Judge in the manner provided for the enforcement of summary offenses under the Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure, shall be sentenced to pay a fine of not less than $50 nor more than $1,000 plus costs and, in default of payment of said fine and costs, to a term of imprisonment not to exceed 90 days. Each day that a violation of this chapter continues or each section of this chapter which shall be found to have been violated shall constitute a separate offense.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
B. 
Equitable and other remedies. No penalty herein shall prevent the Township from enforcing this chapter by equitable, injunctive and other remedies.
C. 
Liability. The Township of White and its agents, officials, and representatives, shall not, under any circumstances, be liable or responsible for damages caused to any person or property by reason of the provisions of this chapter, or by reason of the conduct of any burning activity in compliance with the terms and provisions of this chapter. The individual person or party responsible for any such fire shall bear sole liability for any damages caused as a result thereof.
D. 
Access to private property. The Township of White and its agents, officials, employees, and representatives are hereby authorized to enter upon private property for the purpose of conducting inspections and investigations to assure compliance with this chapter.
E. 
Citizen action. Nothing herein prohibits neighboring property owners who witness violations of this chapter from themselves filing charges with the Magisterial District Judge for enforcement of this chapter.