[Adopted 2-25-2015 by Ord. No. 317 as Ch. 10, Art. III, of the 2015 Pittsfield Charter Township Code]
This article is intended to promote the public health, safety and welfare and to safeguard the health, comfort, living conditions, safety and welfare of the citizens of the Township by regulating the air pollution and fire hazards of open burning and outdoor burning.
This article applies to all outdoor burning and open burning within the Township.
Except as provided in § 10-13, this article does not apply to grilling or cooking food using charcoal, wood, propane or natural gas in cooking or grilling appliances.
This article does not apply to burning for the purpose of generating heat in a stove, furnace, fireplace or other heating device within a building used for human or animal habitation.
This article does not apply to the use of propane, acetylene, natural gas, gasoline or kerosene in a device intended for heating, construction or maintenance activities.
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- An outdoor fire utilized for ceremonial or recreational purposes, no larger than five feet by five feet by five feet, on parcels not smaller than one acre.
- A small outdoor fire intended for recreation or cooking but not including a fire intended for disposal of waste wood or refuse. No larger than three feet by three feet by three feet. Campfire must be 15 feet from any combustible surface and property line.
- CLEAN WOOD
- Natural wood which has not been painted, varnished or coated with a similar material; has not been pressure treated with preservatives; and does not contain resins or glues as in plywood or other composite wood products.
- CONSTRUCTION AND DEMOLITION WASTE
- Building waste materials, including but not limited to waste shingles, insulation, lumber, treated wood, painted wood, wiring, plastics, packaging, and rubble that results from construction, remodeling, repair, and demolition operations on a house, commercial or industrial building, or other structure.
- DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC SAFETY OR HIS/HER DESIGNEE
- The department head of the Township Public Safety Department or other person designated by the Director of Public Safety.
- A county, township, city, or village.
- OPEN BURNING
- Kindling or maintaining a fire where the products of combustion are emitted directly into the ambient air without passing through a stack or a chimney. This includes burning in a burn barrel.
- OUTDOOR BURNING
- Open burning or burning in an outdoor wood-fired boiler or patio wood-burning unit.
- OUTDOOR WOOD-FIRED BOILER
- A wood-fired boiler, stove or furnace that is not located within a building intended for habitation by humans or domestic animals.
- PATIO WOOD-BURNING UNIT
- A chimney, patio warmer, or other portable wood-burning device used for outdoor recreation and/or heating.
- PRESCRIBED BURN
- The burning, in compliance with a prescription and to meet planned fire or land management objectives, of a continuous cover of fuels.
- A written plan establishing the criteria necessary for starting, controlling, and extinguishing a burn.
Open burning and outdoor burning are prohibited in the Township unless the burning is specifically permitted by this article.
Open burning of refuse is prohibited.
Open burning of trees, logs, brush, stumps, leaves, and grass clippings is prohibited unless the burning is specifically permitted in this article.
Open burning of trees, logs, brush, stumps, leaves and grass clippings is permitted in zoned agricultural districts.
A permit issued in accordance with § 10-16 must be obtained prior to open burning under this section.
Except for barbecue, gas, and charcoal grills, no open burning shall be undertaken during periods when the Governor of Michigan has issued a burning ban applicable to the area.
All allowed open burning shall be conducted in a safe, nuisance-free manner, when wind and weather conditions minimize adverse effects and do not create a health hazard or a visibility hazard on roadways, railroads or airfields. Open burning shall be conducted in conformance with all local and state fire protection regulations.
Open burning shall be conducted only on the property on which the materials were generated.
Outdoor campfires and bonfires for cooking, ceremonies, or recreation are allowed, provided they do not cause a nuisance.
Open burning under this section shall only be conducted at a location at least 50 feet from any structure and 15 feet from any property line.
Except for campfires and bonfires, open burning shall only be conducted between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and one hour prior to dusk.
A bonfire shall not be more than five feet wide and five feet high and shall not burn longer than three hours. The maximum size and duration of a bonfire shall not be increased by the Fire Department personnel unless it is determined that fire safety requirements of the situation and the desirable duration of burn warrant the increase. Fuel for a bonfire shall consist solely of seasoned dry firewood and shall be ignited with a small quantity of paper. The fire shall not be utilized for waste disposal purposes.
Open burning shall be constantly attended and supervised by a competent person of at least 18 years of age until the fire is extinguished and is cold. The person shall have readily available for use such fire extinguishing equipment as may be necessary for the total control of the fire.
Materials shall not be burned upon any street, curb, gutter or sidewalk or on the ice of a lake, pond, stream or water body.
Except for barbecue, gas, and charcoal grills, no burning shall be undertaken within 50 feet from any combustible material, combustible wall or partition, exterior window opening, exit access or exit unless authorized by the Director of Public Safety or his/her designee.
No open burning may be conducted on days when the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality has declared an "air quality action day" applicable to the Township.
Open burning shall be in one location on permitted property. The size of the open burn may not exceed 15 feet in height and 15 feet in diameter.
Open burning of weeds, brush, and crop stubble on agricultural lands is allowed if conducted in accordance with other applicable provisions of this chapter.
All prescribed burns require a permit which may only be issued after plan review by the Department of Public Safety.
Fires set for forest, prairie, and wildlife habitat management are allowed only if conducted in accordance with Part 515 of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act, MCL 324.51501 et seq.
After February 19, 2011, no person shall install an outdoor wood-fired boiler in the Township until federal or state regulations pertaining to the manufacturing of wood-fired boilers are adopted by the Township.
Charcoal burners and other open-flame cooking devices shall not be operated on combustible balconies or within 10 feet of combustible construction.
A patio wood-burning unit may be installed and used in the Township only in accordance with all of the following provisions:
The patio wood-burning unit shall not be used to burn refuse.
The patio wood-burning unit shall burn only clean wood.
The patio wood-burning unit shall be located at least 15 feet from the nearest structure.
The patio wood-burning unit shall not cause a nuisance to neighbors.
The use of patio wood-burning units is prohibited on balconies and covered porches of multifamily dwellings.
Notwithstanding §§ 10-7 and 10-8, structures and other materials may be burned for fire prevention training only in accordance with all of the following provisions:
The burn must be exclusively for fire prevention training. The burning shall not be used as a means to dispose of waste material, including tires and other hazardous materials.
Any standing structure that will be used in fire suppression training must be inspected and should be inspected by a licensed asbestos inspector. A notification of this inspection must be submitted to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, Air Quality Division at least 10 business days prior to burning a standing structure. The notification must be submitted to Michigan Department of Environmental Quality or its successor agency with same authority, using Form EQP 5661 "Notification of Intent to Renovate/Demolish or other form as designated by proper inspecting agency."
All asbestos must be removed prior to conducting the fire suppression training. If the structure is a residential dwelling, the owner may remove the asbestos or have it removed by a licensed abatement contractor. If it is a commercial building, all asbestos must be removed by a licensed abatement contractor.
All ash shall be disposed of in an approved landfill or at an alternate location approved by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality.
Asphalt shingles and asphalt or plastic siding shall be removed prior to the practice burn unless the Director of Public Safety or his/her designee determines that they are necessary for the fire practice.
At least 48 hours before a planned practice burn, residents within 1,000 feet of the site of the proposed burn shall be notified.
All fire suppression training should conform to the guidelines established by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Standard on Live Fire Training Evolutions (NFPA 1403).
No person shall start or maintain any open burning covered under this section without a burning permit issued by the Director of Public Safety or his/her designee.
Any person responsible for burning leaves, brush, clean wood or other vegetative debris under § 10-9 shall obtain a burning permit before starting the fire.
When weather conditions warrant, the Director of Public Safety or his/her designee may temporarily suspend issuing burning permits and may temporarily suspend previously issued burning permits for open burning.
A burning permit issued under this section shall require compliance with all applicable provisions of this article and any additional special restrictions deemed necessary to protect public health and safety.
Any violation of the conditions of a burning permit shall be deemed a violation of this article. Any violation of this article or the burning permit shall void the permit.
Permits will be issued through the Township Department of Public Safety, provided all requirements of this article are met.
The Director of Public Safety may adopt procedures for the issuance of burning permits and the enforcement of this article.
A person utilizing or maintaining an outdoor fire shall be responsible for all fire suppression costs and any other liability resulting from damage caused by the fire.
The Director of Public Safety or his/her designee or any authorized officer, agent, employee or representative of the Township who presents credentials may inspect any property for the purpose of ascertaining compliance with the provisions of this article.
Certified personnel of the Department of Public Safety and Township and code enforcement personnel are authorized to enforce the provisions of this article.
A violation of this article is a municipal civil infraction.
Any individual, firm, association, partnership, corporation, limited liability company, consortium, governmental entity, or any other legal entity who violates any of the provisions of this article or fails to comply with a duly authorized order issued pursuant to this article may be issued a municipal civil infraction subject to the penalties established by Chapter 2, Article V, Municipal Civil Infractions; Civil Fines and Penalties, of the Pittsfield Charter Township Code.