Town of Westernport, MD
Allegany County
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[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Commissioners of the Town of Westernport as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted 10-5-2015 as § 120-1 of the 2015 Code]
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
CONTROL OFFICER
Any law enforcement officer authorized by the Mayor for enforcing this article.
RINGELMANN SMOKE CHART
The chart published and described in the latest applicable U.S. Bureau of Mines Information Circular, used in estimating the light-obscuring power of smoke. Any other method for grading smoke which is approved by the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene as the equivalent of the Ringelmann Smoke Chart may be substituted therefor.
No person shall cause, suffer, allow or permit an open fire except as provided by this article.
A. 
Permit allowing open fire.
(1) 
The control officer may, upon receipt of an application made on forms provided by the Town, issue or approve a permit in writing allowing an open fire, provided that all of the following conditions are met:
(a) 
The control officer is satisfied that there is no practical alternate method to dispose of the material to be burned or to conduct the desired activity.
(b) 
No hazardous condition or air pollution or nuisance will be created.
(c) 
Fire control laws or regulations of other governmental agencies will not be violated.
(d) 
No materials which produce dense smoke when burned, including but not limited to tires and roofing material, will be burned.
(e) 
The material to be burned shall have originated on the premises on which it is to be burned.
(2) 
The control officer may impose other conditions to minimize creation of smoke, to prevent nuisance and air pollution, and to protect the health, safety, comfort and property of any persons.
B. 
Public officers, in the performance of their official duties, may set an open fire or give permission for an open fire, with concurrence of the control officer, provided that all reasonable means are employed to minimize smoke, if the fire is necessary for one or more of the following reasons or purposes:
(1) 
For the prevention of a fire hazard that cannot be abated by other means.
(2) 
For the instruction of public firefighters or industrial employees under supervision of the appropriate fire control official.
(3) 
For the protection of public health or safety when other means of disposing of hazardous materials are not available.
C. 
Open fires otherwise in conformance with other governmental fire control ordinances, provided that no nuisance or air pollution is created, are allowed without permission as follows:
(1) 
Cooking of food.
(2) 
Fires set in the course of agricultural operations in growing crops or raising fowl or animals or in accepted forestry practice. In no case shall this provision be construed as allowing the burning of materials which produce dense smoke, such as tires, oil, etc.
(3) 
Recreational purposes, such as campfires, provided that smoke emissions are not darker than No. 2 on the Ringelmann Smoke Chart and the fires are not located within a dangerous distance from any neighboring habitable buildings.
(4) 
Oil- or gas-fired salamanders or similar devices designated specifically for space heating or warming of outdoor workers, etc., provided that no visible emissions are created.
(5) 
Warming fires for outdoor workers, provided that smoke emissions are not darker than No. 2 on the Ringelmann Smoke Chart and the fires are located not closer than 200 feet to any neighboring habitable buildings.
[Amended 10-1-2018 by Ord. No. 9-4-2018B]
Any person or entity that fails to comply with any provisions of this article is guilty of a municipal infraction subject to Chapter 135 of the Code of the Town of Westernport.