[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Supervisors of the Township of North Newton 1-5-2015 by Ord. No. 2015-3. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Zoning — See Ch. 300.
The purpose of this chapter is to prevent needless public damage to life and property, and to control air pollution resulting from public and private nuisances caused by outdoor fires deliberately or carelessly set and maintained.
For purposes of this chapter, the following words and terms shall have the meanings following:
- A fire contained by a noncombustible, nontoxic fire ring with a diameter of five feet or less which burns only natural, untreated wood for recreational purposes and subject to safe distances as specified in § 124-3.
- CONTAINED FIRE
- Any fire contained in an incinerator, fireplace, cooking grill or other contained enclosure designed for outdoor cooking, or a fireproof container.
- DOMESTIC REFUSE
- Waste that is generated from normal occupancy of a structure solely as a dwelling by two families or less. The term does not include such items as demolition waste, insulation, shingles, treated wood, paint, painted or stained objects or furniture, tires, mattresses, box springs, metal, insulating coating on wire, television sets and appliances, automobiles, automotive parts, batteries, PVC products, waste oil and other petroleum products.
- ENFORCEMENT OFFICER
- The Board of Supervisors shall be the designated Enforcement Officer under this chapter or its designee.
- Any fire set or maintained outside of a building to include smoldering and open burn.
- Any individual, partnership, organization, association, agency, firm, estate, or corporation and any other legal or commercial entity.
- RESPONSIBLE INDIVIDUAL
- An adult individual 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 "contained fire."
Compliance with chapter.
It shall be unlawful to burn, ignite, incinerate, maintain or permit to burn any materials whatsoever, of whatever nature, without complying with this chapter.
Nothing herein shall be construed to prevent firefighting training by Township-designated firefighting organizations or the process of extinguishing a wildfire.
Public roads and public properties. No person can set, start, feed, permit to burn or maintain a fire upon any of the streets, sidewalks, alleys or public grounds in North Newton 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 a fire.
It shall be unlawful to allow any fire, except cooking grills, within a twenty-foot distance from a building or property line.
Campfires must be set back 30 feet from any residence unless permission is obtained from all owners of residences within 30 feet of the campfire.
All fires, except for campfires and cooking grills, must be set back 300 feet from any residence unless permission is obtained from all owners of residences within 300 feet of the fire.
Control of burning and unattended fires.
Fires may be able to burn only under the supervision of a responsible individual.
No fires 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 government body.
The Township may prohibit any and all fires within the borders of North Newton Township, Cumberland County, Pennsylvania at any time due to drought or other condition, or at any time that such fires may constitute a safety or health hazard to the citizens and residents of North Newton Township.
At any time that the Township of North Newton, Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, declares a ban on burning and fires within the Township of North Newton, Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, the Board of Supervisors or its designee will take reasonable steps to notify the public in such manner and in such fashion as may be proper and advisable.
No fire shall be set that results in uncontained burning of vegetation (field fire) except for fires of leaves, brush and/or natural untreated wood that grew on the property where it is to be burned and where the location of the fire is at least 300 feet from any residence, unless permission is obtained from all owners within 300 feet of the fire.
Fires shall be confined in a noncombustible container that is in good repair, covered with a wire screen of one-half-inch or smaller mesh, except for fires of leaves, brush, and/or natural, untreated wood that need not be confined to or covered by a noncombustible container. All such fires shall be located at least 300 feet from any residence, unless permission is obtained from all owners within 300 feet of the fire.
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 may be extinguished by the Board of Supervisors or its designee or extinguished immediately upon request by such official.
Unlawful substances and unlawful burning.
Burning of plastics, by-products of manufacturing, construction materials, tires, rubber, materials containing petroleum-based products, and hazardous waste from commercial operations is strictly prohibited.
Burning of any substance determined by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania or the United States Environmental Protection Agency to be a hazardous substance is prohibited; nor shall any fire be permitted to burn by any person if such burning is in violation of the Air Pollution Control Act or other legislation of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania or the United States of America or any other competent body. Commercial and/or industrial burning is hereby prohibited within the Township of North Newton in accordance with the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Fires shall be used only to burn readily combustible materials.
Special circumstances. In the event that it is necessary to have an uncontained fire of a size other than permitted under this chapter, special permission must be obtained in advance from the Board of Supervisors of North Newton Township or its designee. In the event any fire company is required to respond to a fire that violates the provisions of this chapter, a service fee may be levied by the responding fire company.
Notice of all uncontained burning shall be given to Cumberland County Communications Control Center at (717) 243-4121 prior to the institution thereof and when such burning has been completed.
Sanctions. Any person, whether as principle or agent, who violates this chapter or assists or abets its violation, shall upon conviction thereof before any Magisterial District Judge, be sentenced to pay a fine of not more than $1,000, together with the costs of prosecution. In default of payment thereof, the defendant may be sentenced to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 90 days. Each violation shall constitute a separate offense, for which a summary conviction may be sought.
Equitable and other remedies. No penalty herein shall prevent the Township from enforcing this chapter by equitable, injunctive and other remedies.