[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Supervisors of the Township of Mount Joy 9-14-1992 by Ord. No. CXXIX; amended in its entirety 10-20-2008 by Ord. No. CCXLVI. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the "Mount Joy Township Outdoor Burning Ordinance."
It is against public policy to permit uncontrolled and unrestricted outdoor burning. The purpose of this chapter is to prevent needless damage to life and property because of public and private nuisances caused by outdoor fires deliberately or carelessly set and maintained.
For the purpose of this chapter, the following words and terms shall have the meanings ascribed to them herein:
- An outdoor controlled fire that is not confined to a fireproof container and that is used for ceremonial purposes or for cooking food.
- BURNING PIT
- A pit with masonry walls and earth or masonry floor which is covered by a chain link fence when in use.
- CONTAINED FIRE
- Any fire contained in an incinerator, fireplace or cooking grill or other contained enclosure designed for outdoor cooking or a fireproof container.
- CONTROLLED FIRE
- A fire with adult supervision and surrounded by a noncombustible barrier.
- DOMESTIC WASTE
- Waste which is generated from the normal occupancy of a structure occupied solely as a dwelling. The term does not include appliances, carpets, demolition waste, furniture, mattresses or box springs, paint, putrescible waste, solvents, tires, or treated wood.
- ENFORCEMENT OFFICER
- Any person appointed by the Board of Supervisors to administer
and enforce the provisions of this chapter.[Amended 2-21-2011 by Ord. No. 269-2011]
- HAZARDOUS WASTE
- Any garbage, refuse, sludge from an industrial or other wastewater treatment plant, sludge from a water supply treatment plant or air or contained gaseous material resulting from municipal, commercial, industrial, institutional, mining, or agricultural operations and from community activities, or any combination from the above which, because of its quantity, concentration, or physical, chemical, or infectious characteristics, may:
- A. Cause or significantly contribute to an increase in mortality or an increase in morbidity in either an individual or the population; or
- B. Pose a substantial present or potential hazard to human health or the environment when improperly treated, stored, transported, disposed of, or otherwise managed as defined by Section 103 of the Solid Waste Management Act, 35 P.S. § 6018.101 et seq.
- OPEN BURNING
- The burning of materials wherein the products of combustion are emitted directly into the ambient air.
- OUTDOOR FIRE
- Any fire set or maintained outside of a building.
- Any individual, partnership, organization, association, agency, firm, estate, corporation or any other legally recognized entity.
- POLICE DEPARTMENT
- The Northwest Regional Lancaster County Police Department or any successor municipal or multi-municipal police department having jurisdiction within the corporate boundaries of the Township.
- POLICE OFFICER
- Any member of the Police Department.
- RECREATIONAL FIRES
- A contained and controlled outdoor fire used for the purpose of cooking food, for an ambient heat source. Recreational fires shall include an outdoor fireplace, cooking grill, fire-bowl, chimenea, or other similar-type heating unit. A burn barrel shall not be an acceptable container for a recreational fire.
- 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.
- UNCONTAINED FIRE
- Any fire not included in the definition of a "contained fire."
- WOODY YARD WASTE
- Includes brush, shrubs, sod, grass clippings, garden residue, twigs, leaves, branches and tree limbs.
It shall be unlawful for any person or persons, either directly or indirectly, to kindle or maintain any fire or authorize or permit any fire to be kindled or maintained on any public road, street, alley, sidewalk or land that is owned the Township or that is considered common open space or parkland within a residential subdivision.
Open burning, other than recreational fires, campfires, and bonfires, shall only be permitted in compliance with this chapter on a property that contains an agricultural use and shall only consist of burning wastes that result from producing agricultural commodities in an unmanufactured state. All domestic wastes and woody yard wastes that are produced by the dwelling on the agricultural property shall be disposed of in accordance with Chapter 110, Solid Waste.
[Amended 2-21-2011 by Ord. No. 269-2011; 9-19-2011 by Ord. No. 274-2011]
Recreational fires, other than campfires, shall be permitted on any property within the Township subject to the following regulations:
All recreational fires shall contain a wire mesh screen, with openings of two inches or less, over the flames to prevent embers from rising into the open air causing a potential fire risk to nearby structures and buildings.
Recreational fires shall not contain a burn area greater than three feet across in diameter.
Recreational fires shall be located at least 10 feet away from a building or structure. Cooking grills shall be permitted to be located closer than 10 feet to a building or structure if a constant flow of water, or other fire extinguishing device, is readily available.
Campfires and bonfires shall be permitted on any property within the Township subject to the following regulations:
The campfire and bonfire shall be no greater than three feet across in diameter or greater than three feet in height.
Campfires and bonfires shall be located at least 25 feet away from any building or structure.
The campfire shall be enclosed with stones, brick or other masonry type materials to ensure that the fire will not spread.
Nothing herein shall be construed to prevent fire-fighting training by Township-designated fire-fighting organizations.
[Added 9-19-2011 by Ord. No. 274-2011
Open burning that is confined to a burning pit or a noncombustible vented container must be located at least 50 feet from any structure, building, or property line.
Open burning that is not confined in a burn pit or a noncombustible vented container must be located at least 150 feet from any structure, building or property line.
A twenty-foot clear radius shall be maintained around any open burning and be free from any woody yard waste, trees or other combustible materials.
No outdoor fire shall be allowed to burn without a responsible adult being present at all times and without a readily available fire-extinguishing apparatus, such as a water hose. Sand or dirt may also be considered, provided that an ample supply is available or shovels and rakes are on hand.
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.
No outdoor fire shall be set that results in uncontrolled burning of vegetation or property.
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 or as an uncontrolled fire. Any person on a property where a fire is burning under adverse weather conditions, unsupervised or otherwise in an unsafe manner, as an uncontrolled fire or otherwise in violation of this chapter shall extinguish such outdoor fire immediately upon request of a police officer or any member of a volunteer fire company which has been called to the property. Failure to extinguish a fire upon such a request is a violation of this chapter. If no person is on such property or if such person refuses to extinguish the fire upon request of a police officer or firefighter, the police officer or firefighter may take all appropriate action to extinguish the fire.
Under no circumstances shall the following materials be permitted to be burned on any property, whether or not such property contains an agricultural use.
Woody yard waste, except as allowed by § 60-5 of this chapter.
[Amended 2-21-2011 by Ord. No. 269-2011]
Tires, plastics, metal, foam, insulation, or any material listed as recyclable in Chapter 110, Solid Waste.
By-products of manufacturing and processing operations and wastes from commercial operations.
Any hazardous waste material.
Using gasoline or another highly flammable ignition source is strictly prohibited at all times.
[Amended 9-19-2011 by Ord. No. 274-2011]
In an attempt to reduce unnecessary fire calls, the Township shall be notified of an open burning other than recreational fires at least one day prior to the event so that the Township can contact the appropriate authorities prior to the event occurring.
[Amended 2-21-2011 by Ord. No. 269-2011]
This chapter may be enforced by the Enforcement Officer or by any police officer. Any person who violates any provisions of this chapter, upon conviction thereof by summary proceedings, shall be sentenced to pay a fine of not less than $50 nor more than $1,000 plus costs of prosecution for the first such conviction and no less than $100 nor more than $1,000 plus costs of prosecution for the second or subsequent violation.
No penalty herein shall prevent the Township from enforcing this chapter by equitable, injunctive and other remedies.
The Township 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 responsible for any such fire shall bear sole liability for any damages caused as a result thereof.