[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Supervisors of the Township of West Donegal 1-7-2002 by Ord. No. 134-2002 (Ch. 7, Part 1, of the 1984 Code of Ordinances). Amendments noted where applicable.]
This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the "West Donegal Township Open Fires and 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:
- CONTAINED FIRE
- Any fire contained in an incinerator, fireplace, cooking grill or other fireproof container or enclosure designed for outdoor cooking or heating.
- ENFORCEMENT OFFICER
- The person designated by the Board of Supervisors of the Township to enforce this chapter. The enforcement officer may hold other positions with the Township.
- Any fire set or maintained outside of a building.
- Any individual, partnership, corporation, organization, association, agency, firm, estate and any other legally recognized entity, and the members of such partnership or association and the officers of such corporation.
- POLICE DEPARTMENT
- The Northwest Regional Lancaster County Police Department
or any successor municipal or multimunicipal police department having
jurisdiction within the corporate boundaries of the Township.[Added 4-3-2006 by Ord. No. 169-2006]
- POLICE OFFICER
- Any member of the Northwest Regional Police Department.
- RESPONSIBLE ADULT
- An individual 18 years or older who is not under the influence of drugs, alcohol or suffering from any other disability which would impair his or her ability to properly supervise a fire.
- The Township of West Donegal, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.
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 within the Township. Contained fires for cooking and campfires may be maintained upon park or recreation land owned by the Township, where the Township has designated an area for this purpose and an appropriate container has been provided to contain such fire, and if supervised by a responsible adult and if all other requirements of this chapter are met. Nothing in this section shall prevent any employee and/or agent of the Township from burning trash upon public ground when such burning is in furtherance of any municipal purpose such as maintaining clean and trash-free public grounds.
[Amended 5-21-2018 by Ord. No. 230-2018]
No person shall set, start, feed, permit to burn or maintain any fire within an unsafe distance, and no less than 20 feet from any building, structure, roadway or property line. Cooking grills may be permitted, when safe, to be within 20 feet of a building or structure.
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.
No fire shall be set, started, fed, permitted to burn or maintained where such fire, smoke and/or by-products may interfere with the navigation of aircraft, or the safe travel upon any roadway or sidewalk.
No fire shall be set, started, fed, permitted to burn or smolder, or be maintained between sunset and sunrise, with the exception of cooking, recreational or ceremonial fires.
No fire shall be allowed to burn without a responsible adult being present at all times and without readily available fire extinguishing apparatus, such as a water hose. Sand or dirt may also be considered, provided an ample supply is available or shovels and rakes are on hand.
No 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/or all outdoor fires when atmospheric conditions or local circumstances make such fires hazardous.
No fire shall be set that results in the uncontrolled burning of vegetation or property.
All fires shall be confined in a noncombustible container, covered with a wire screen or mesh of no greater than one-half-inch openings, with the exception of leaf, brush, recreational, ceremonial or cooking fires.
It shall be unlawful to set, start, feed, permit or maintain any fire containing construction debris, plastics, rubber, manufacturing or commercial by-products or wastes, any hazardous substance as defined by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania or any other competent governmental body, any designated recyclable material as defined in, and in accordance with, Chapter 183, Solid Waste, of the Code of the Township of West Donegal or any substance that is not readily combustible.
[Added 4-3-2006 by Ord. No. 169-2006]
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 the request of the enforcement officer, a police officer, or any member of a volunteer fire company which has been called to the property. Failure to extinguish such outdoor fire upon such a request is a violation of this chapter. If no person is on such property or if such person refuses to or cannot otherwise extinguish the fire upon request of the enforcement officer, police officer, or a fire fighter, such enforcement officer, police officer or fire fighter may take all appropriate action to extinguish the fire.
In the event that it is necessary to have an uncontained fire of a size and/or at a time other than permitted under this chapter, the landowner must obtain special permission in advance from the enforcement officer and the Fire Chief (or his designee) of the volunteer fire company providing service to the area in which a property is located.
[Amended 4-3-2006 by Ord. No. 169-2006]
The enforcement officer and any police officer shall have the power to enforce any provisions of this chapter. The Board of Supervisors specifically authorizes the enforcement officer to issue citations to enforce this chapter.
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.