New Open Burning Law in Johnson City, NY


ARTICLE II, Fire Prevention

148-4. Open fires. [Amended 12-18-2001 by L.L. No. 5-2001]

It is the intent of this section to protect the general health, welfare and safety of the people of the Village of Johnson City by prohibiting open fires, which are dangerous to life and property.

A. Definitions. As used in this section, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:

GARBAGE -- The animal and vegetable waste resulting from the handling, preparation, cooking and serving of food.

OPEN FIRE -- Any outdoor fire or outdoor smoke-producing process from which air contaminants are emitted directly into the outdoor atmosphere.

REFUSE -- All waste material, including but not limited to garbage, rubbish, incinerator residue, street sweepings, dead animals and offal.

RUBBISH -- Solid or liquid waste material, including but not limited to paper and paper products; rags; trees or leaves, needles and branches therefrom; vines; lawn and garden debris; furniture; cans; crockery; plastic; cartons; chemicals; paint; grease; sludge; oils and other petroleum products; lumber; sawdust; demolition materials; tires; and automobiles and other vehicles and parts for junk, salvage or disposal.

B. Prohibited burning. The following fires are prohibited in Johnson City:

(1) The burning of garbage, refuse and rubbish in any manner is prohibited.

(2) All open fires are prohibited in Johnson City, with the exception of those in conformity with the provisions of 148-4C of this article.

(3) Open burning for outdoor cooking is prohibited in or on multiple-dwelling structures.

C. Permitted burning. Burning in an open fire, provided that it is not contrary to any other federal, state, county or local law, ordinance, rule or regulation, will be permitted as follows:

(1) Bonfires. Bonfires shall be permitted only for a publicly sponsored celebration or event, or for an organization-sponsored event, or for a public or private school-sponsored event, and shall be subject to meeting all requirements of the bonfire permit application obtained from and filed with the Fire Marshal's office, prior to any bonfire being lit and taking place. No fire shall be ignited prior to an on-site inspection of the location where the bonfire is to take place and shall be subject to any and all conditions or restrictions the Fire Marshal's office may impose for the safety of life and property, nor shall any fire be ignited prior to the issuance of a bonfire permit issued by the Fire Marshal's office. The fire department shall be notified prior to igniting any said bonfire permitted by the Fire Marshal's office.

(2) Outdoor cooking. Open burning will be permitted for outdoor cooking when the fire is limited to the minimal size necessary and contained in a device or cooking utensil commonly referred to as a grill or hibachi and designed for outdoor cooking purposes. All applicable and/or reasonable safety precautions shall be taken when using said devices or utensils.

(3) Recreational fires or campfires. Small recreational fires or campfires shall be permitted only when all of the following is adhered to:

(a) When the fire is contained to a device designed to hold a small fire, such as an outdoor fireplace, or commercially manufactured steel or ceramic portable fireplace, and used according to the manufacturer's directions.

(b) Said fire is solely for a recreational purpose.

(c) Said fire is placed no closer than 25 feet to any structure.

(d) Said fire is properly attended and controlled at all times by a responsible party with appropriate fire extinguishing equipment readily available.

(e) Said fire shall not present a safety hazard to life or property, nor create a nuisance.

D. Control of fires within the Village. If, in the opinion of the Fire Marshal or the Fire Chief, weather conditions are such that the starting or the continuation of burning is a risk to life, health or property within the Village, they shall have the right to declare that any and all burning shall cease immediately until further notice.

E. Enforcement. The Fire Marshal and such firefighting personnel as he or she shall designate are hereby vested with authority to enforce the provisions of this section. The Fire Department is hereby authorized to extinguish any open burning fire being conducted in violation of any of the provisions of this section.

F. Penalties for offenses.

(1) Any violation by a person, firm or corporation of any provision of this section shall be deemed a violation pursuant to the Penal Law of the State of New York, punishable by a fine not exceeding $250 or by imprisonment for a term not exceeding 15 days, or both.

(2) Any person who takes part in or assists in any violation of this section shall also be subject to the penalties provided herein.

(3) Each day (twenty-four-hour period) that a violation of this section is committed or permitted to exist shall be deemed to constitute a distinct and separate violation.