[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Wappinger 4-9-2001 by L.L. No. 3-2001. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The Town Board recognizes that the open burning of materials potentially poses a threat to life and property and that such open burning can cause possible loss of life and damage to other properties and their owners. It is the purpose of this chapter to ensure the safety, health and welfare of the residents and property in the Town by prohibiting the open burning of all materials, except as specifically permitted herein.
The purpose of this chapter is to prohibit outdoor open fires and burning in the Town of Wappinger except as specifically permitted in this chapter. Environmental Conservation Law § 9-1105 and 6 NYCRR Part 215 authorize the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to authorize permits for landowners to conduct prescribed burn activity and to conduct open burning on the landowner's property. Recently, several permits have been issued by the DEC for open burning within the Town of Wappinger. In each of these instances, the permit holder did not conduct the burn activities in accordance with the conditions outlined in the permit, resulting in situations that imperiled the health and safety of the residents of the Town of Wappinger.
Town Law § 130 has specifically authorized a Town to adopt ordinances and regulations that would control and prevent fires. The Town Board notes that the Town of Wappinger has approximately 26,000 residents, and is the third largest municipality in population size in Dutchess County. While many residential areas are served with central water, not all of these central water facilities are equipped with fire-rated hydrants, capable for use by fire-fighting equipment. Further still, there are many residential neighborhoods whose primary source of water is through private well systems. ln the event of an uncontrolled fire, containment of the fire would be entirely dependent on the local volunteer fire company's equipment to control, contain and extinguish the fire.
The Town Board finds that there is no public benefit to permit open fires in the Town of Wappinger, and hereby determines that the safety, health and general welfare of persons and properties in the Town of Wappinger would be benefited by restricting open "outdoor" burning of all materials. The prevention of outdoor open burning will also have a great effect on the minimization of air pollution, which could have a detrimental effect on the health and the welfare of the residents of the Town as well as eliminating a potential threat to life and property.
It is not the intent of the adoption of this section of the Code to prohibit the use of outdoor candles (citronella, etc.), barbecue pits, fire pits, outdoor fireplaces or wood, gas or charcoal grills designed and used solely for the preparation of food. It is also not the intent of this chapter to prohibit open fires when used by governmental or municipal authorities for the training of personnel in fire-fighting techniques or the use of fire-fighting equipment.
As used in this chapter, the following words shall have the meanings specified below:
- The animal and vegetable waste resulting from the handling, preparation, cooking and serving of food.
- Any steel, cast iron, masonry or wire receptacle with solid or perforated sides, fronts and backs (any such perforations not exceeding one inch on a side or in diameter), equipped with a spark arrestor or cover sufficient to prevent the escape of sparks or embers, with no openings or perforations exceeding one inch on a side or in diameter and with any draft doors or other openings protected with a one-inch-mesh wire screen or equivalent.
- OPEN FIRE/BURNING
- Any outdoor fire or burning or outdoor smoke-producing process from which air contaminants are emitted directly into the outdoor atmosphere, other than by a fire in stove, oven, furnace or incinerator designed and constructed for the burning of material. The term "open fire" shall not be deemed to include fires in barbecue pits, outdoor candles (citronella, etc.), outdoor fireplaces and wood, gas or charcoal grills designed and used for the purpose of cooking food for human consumption, and shall not include the use of a fire in a fireplace by recognized organizations such as Girl Scouts or Boy Scouts or Fire Department, where such fireplace is used under the constant supervision of responsible officials of such organizations.
- PROTECTED FIRE
- Any fire contained within a stove, furnace, incinerator or device that fully contains such fire and is so designed and constructed as to prevent spreading of the fire or the discharge of burning particles or materials into the atmosphere. The term "protected fire" shall not be deemed to include fires in barbecue pits, outdoor candles (citronella, etc.), outdoor fireplaces and wood, gas or charcoal grills designed and used for the purpose of cooking food for human consumption, and shall not include the use of a fire in a fireplace by recognized organizations such as Girl Scouts or Boy Scouts or Fire Department, where such fireplace is used under the constant supervision of responsible officials of such organizations.
- All waste material, including, but not limited to, garbage, rubbish, incinerator residue, street sweepings, dead animals and offal.
- 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; plastics; cartons; chemicals; paint; grease; slugs; oils and other petroleum products; wood; sawdust; demolition materials; tires; automobiles and other vehicles and parts, for junk, salvage or disposal
It shall be unlawful for any person to light, permit or maintain an open fire within the Town of Wappinger for any purpose.
It shall be unlawful to light, permit or maintain a protected fire outside of any building with the Town of Wappinger for any purpose.
It shall be unlawful to light, permit or maintain a protected fire inside any building within the Town of Wappinger for the purposes of burning garbage, refuse or rubbish.
Notwithstanding the foregoing, the following open fires shall be permitted in accordance with a permit issued by the Town of Wappinger Fire Inspector upon a written application:
A bonfire or other open fire sponsored by a school or other governmental entity or by private organizations such as the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Little League, fire companies, etc., in connection with programs and activities conducted by such entities and organizations.
Open fires used in connection with farm land clearing or other farm purposes.
An application for such permit shall include:
A statement why such burning should be permitted;
A map or sketch identifying the area where the burn activities will be undertaken;
A description of the anticipated intensity and duration of the burn activity with the type of fuel to be utilized;
A description of the logistics of the burning activity, the number of personnel to be present, the fire management equipment that will be available and/or deployed to ensure that the burn is restricted to the area(s) prescribed for burn management;
A description of fire-suppression activities to be immediately implemented should the prescribed burn threaten to escape or actually escape beyond the boundaries identified for such burn;
A description of the procedure for notifying appropriate local fire officials and law enforcement personnel, the actual date, time and estimated time for any prescribed burn;
A description of the procedure for notifying all adjacent landowners prior to the undertaking of a prescribed burn; and
A description of the procedures that will be undertaken to ensure that prescribed burn will be fully extinguished at the conclusion of the burn.
No permit issued under this chapter shall authorize:
[Amended 8-18-2003 by L.L. No. 10-2003]
This chapter will be enforced by the Zoning Administrator, the Building Inspector, the Deputy Building Inspector, the Fire Inspector, the Deputy Fire Inspector and any police agency having jurisdiction within the Town of Wappinger.
[Amended 3-22-2004 by L.L. No. 5-2004]
A first violation of this chapter shall be an offense, punishable by a fine in the amount set forth in Chapter 122, Article V, § 122-20M of the Code, or imprisonment for a period not to exceed 10 days, or both. A second or subsequent offense of any provision of this chapter within five years of the first offense shall be punishable by a fine in the amount set forth in Chapter 122, Article V, § 122-20M of the Code or imprisonment for a period not to exceed six months, or both. In addition to these penalties, the Town authorities shall have such other remedies as are provided by law to restrain, correct or abate any violation of this chapter.