[Adopted 7-16-2001, effective 8-10-2001; amended by Town Meeting 12-9-2019]
This article shall be applicable to the entire Town.
This article shall apply to all lands, public and private.
Nothing within this article shall be construed as restricting the duties and responsibilities of the open burning official as may be prescribed by the General Statutes or the Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- Any outside fire considered by the Fire Marshal to be beyond the reasonableness of a campfire; any outside fire involving actual construction and/or assemblage of a fuel source or requiring employment of guy wires or other means of support prior to ignition.
- Limited to any outside fire not greater than 48 inches in diameter and developing flames not greater than 36 inches in height in an area cleared of combustible material to a distance of six feet in radius and burning charcoal, LP gas in an approved appliance or unprocessed wood.
- ENCLOSED COOKING FIRE
- Includes only charcoal, LP gas or unprocessed-wood fires in containers carrying recognized testing laboratory listing, acceptance or approval and constructed for the obvious and express purpose of cooking.
- FIRE MARSHAL
- Includes the Fire Marshal and any Deputy Fire Marshal and Fire Inspector.
- NONPERMITTED FIRE
- Includes any type of outside fire requiring approval or authorization as provided in § 74-9 but not having such approval or authorization; includes any outside fire kindled in violation of the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (CT-DEEP) open burning regulations or this article; including without limitation any outside fire deemed a hazard or nuisance as provided for in § 74-9. Any nonpermitted fire shall constitute one or more violation/s of this article.
- OPEN BURNING
- Includes outside fires for the control or destruction of bona fide disease and pests, agricultural burning or vegetation management on farms; outside fires by any resident to dispose of brush on the property where he resides; outside fires for Fire Department training; outside fires authorized by the Fire Marshal at the Town landfill or transfer station; clearing of vegetative debris following a natural disaster; fire breaks; and habitat or ecological sustainability on municipal property or on privately owned property permanently dedicated as open space and shall include no fires where the products of emission do not pass through an approved chimney.
- OPEN BURNING OFFICIAL
- The official appointed by the Board of Selectmen to administer this article and open burning regulations of the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.
- OPEN COOKING FIRE
- Includes all campfires used for cooking and shall not deviate from or exceed the limitations of campfires kindled outside on any property.
- OUTSIDE FIRE
- A general term referencing all of the types of open outside fires, including but not limited to campfires, bonfires, enclosed or open cooking fires, permitted and nonpermitted fires and open burning, and shall not be construed to include any type of fire normally kindled within a structure.
- PERMITTED FIRE
- Includes any outside fire that has been properly authorized by the open burning official and/or the Fire Marshal and shall also include any other type of outside fire authorized by § 74-9.
- Includes any person to whom an open burning permit has been issued, any person authorized by the Fire Marshal to kindle an outside fire, and any agent thereof.
- PROCESSED WOOD
- Any wood that has undergone any process whatsoever, including all types of milled, painted, stained or otherwise treated wood and includes all construction and demolition lumber and scraps.
- RESPONSIBLE PERSON
- Includes the permittee and those persons designated or allowed by the permittee to kindle or maintain any outside fire under the provisions of this article and all of whom shall be considered agents of the permittee; also includes the person or persons in charge of or otherwise responsible for any lawful or unlawful outside fire.
The Board of Selectmen may designate one or more periods when, subject to obtaining a permit as provided in § 74-9, open burning may be permitted under this article, there being no permitted open burning during nondesignated times.
Subject to Subsection A above, the open burning official may further designate certain days and times within any period designated by the Board of Selectmen for open burning during which period application may be made for an open burning permit.
Any violation of § 74-9 of this article shall be sufficient reason to deny any future application from the violator or from any other person acting as an agent of the violator for an open burning permit as issued by the open burning official or any type of fire permit as issued by the Fire Marshal.
The Fire Marshal or any fire or police officer having jurisdiction, after having been made aware of a particular outside fire and having satisfied himself as to the circumstances and applicable requirements, shall cause any outside fire not specifically permitted in § 74-9 or any outside fire deemed a hazard or nuisance to be immediately extinguished as a nonpermitted fire and may summon the fire service to accomplish this extinguishment.
Any fire or police officer who orders any outside fire to be extinguished shall cause the Fire Marshal to be notified immediately and shall provide sufficient details so as to assist the Fire Marshal in determining the need for investigation and/or enforcement action.
Upon receipt of any complaint concerning any outside fire, the Fire Marshal shall cause an investigation to be made to determine the validity of the complaint and shall take enforcement action when deemed appropriate; the Fire Marshal may require that any complaint be made in writing and be notarized.
The Fire Marshal shall assume responsibility for notifying the open burning official when enforcement action is taken in those instances where an open burning permit was in effect.
The Fire Marshal shall institute procedures necessary to accomplish the requirement of obtaining Fire Marshal approval as required in § 74-9.
A fee schedule shall be adopted by the Board of Selectmen for permit applications and may be amended as appropriate by that Board.
The Fire Marshal or any fire or police officer having jurisdiction may enter upon any outside property at any time for the purpose of investigating a complaint regarding an outside fire or any fire that generates a complaint of a hazard or nuisance, whether or not the fire is burning or was extinguished prior to the complaint.
No person shall kindle any outside fire within the Town unless he has received a permit from the open burning official for those fires defined as "open burning" in § 74-7 or as further provided in Subsection A(1), (2) and (3) of this section.
An open cooking fire as defined in § 74-7 and a campfire properly maintained and kindled in an approved manner of containment on single- or two-family residential property and not employing any unlawful type of fuel shall be permitted without any prior notice or approval, provided the same is continuously attended by a responsible person.
An enclosed cooking fire as defined in § 74-7 on any property shall be permitted without any prior notice or approval, provided the same is continuously attended by a responsible person; except that such outside fires in forests and woodlands shall require Fire Marshal approval.
Any other outside fire of any type on any and all types of property whatsoever shall require Fire Marshal approval.
Any outside fire shall be considered a nonpermitted fire if it is determined by the Fire Marshal or any fire or police officer having jurisdiction to be a hazard or nuisance or otherwise violates this article, whether an open burning permit has been issued or Fire Marshal approval has been granted or whether it is within a stated exception.
Sufficient tools and equipment necessary to extinguish any outside fire of any kind whatsoever must be present and readily available, and a responsible person, physically capable of using those tools and equipment, must be present and in control of any such outside fire.
The permittee or responsible person must be in physical possession of any written permit during the entire process of the outside fire. Said person must present any written permit or authorization to the Fire Marshal, fire officer or police officer upon request.
The permittee shall extinguish any permitted outside fire prior to leaving the proximate area of said outside fire for any reason whatsoever or upon the order of the Fire Marshal, open burning official, or any fire officer or police officer.
Insufficient or unsuitable equipment or insufficient manpower to control any outside fire, a change to unfavorable weather conditions, a determination that the outside fire is a hazard or a nuisance, a change in the CT-DEEP forest fire index which would render the outside fire a violation, notice of an air pollution emergency, or any evidence of a type or magnitude of outside fire contrary to that which was specifically permitted or authorized or otherwise allowed by this article shall justify any order to extinguish such fire.
In the event of any refusal to comply with any order to any person in charge of any outside fire to extinguish said fire, the Fire Department is authorized to extinguish said fire and shall immediately cause the Fire Marshal to be notified.
Refusal to comply with any order authorized by this article to extinguish any outside fire shall constitute a violation of this article.
No permittee or responsible person shall allow an outside fire to be kindled outside the date, time, area or location parameters of any permit or to extend in area beyond that which is specifically authorized or permitted or otherwise allowed.
No permittee or responsible person shall introduce or allow the introduction of any improper, unauthorized or otherwise illegal material into any outside fire; such material shall include but not be limited to construction remnants, demolition debris, flammable or combustible liquids, treated lumber, rubbish, trash, waste materials, and any substance known to be hazardous to health.
The permittee or responsible person shall be liable for any suppression costs that may reasonably be brought forth by the Fire Marshal in the name of the Town of Ellington which were incurred as a result of any outside fire.
No landowner shall knowingly allow, permit, authorize or encourage any type of nonpermitted fire upon his property.
Any change in the CT-DEEP forest fire hazard index to "High" or greater shall cause any permit or authorization to be null and void without consideration of distance to woodland or grassland.
No CT-DEEP open burning permit shall be issued by an open burning official to any resident for any open burning when such open burning would occur upon any property or premises regulated by the Fire Safety Code or Fire Prevention Code of the State of Connecticut unless such permit is approved by the Fire Marshal.
Violation of any condition set down as a part of any permit approval or other approval shall constitute a violation of this article.
This article shall be enforceable by the Fire Marshal and the policing agency having jurisdiction.
The enforcement officers are hereby authorized, in addition to any other remedies that may be provided for by law, to issue citations for violations of the provisions of this article. The fine for each violation will be as set forth in the policy adopted by the Board of Selectmen, as amended from time to time. Each separate day that a violation exists after the issuance of a citation shall be subject to a separate additional fine without the issuance of a separate citation.
If the fine provided for in any such citation is unpaid beyond the due date, the enforcement officers may initiate proceedings under Chapter 46, Citations, to collect such fine.