Borough of Hellertown, PA
Northampton County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of Hellertown 7-2-2012 by Ord. No. 773. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Fire prevention — See Ch. 200.

§ 138-1 Title.

This chapter shall be known and may be referred to as the "Hellertown Borough Open Burning Ordinance."

§ 138-2 Purpose.

This chapter is being adopted to promote the public health, safety and welfare within the Borough of Hellertown and to secure the safety of persons and property within the Borough by regulating open burning and providing penalties for the violation of such regulations.

§ 138-3 Definitions.

As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated in this section:
BONFIRE
An outdoor fire utilized for ceremonial purposes.
COMMERCIAL BURNING
The burning of any materials for profit or the burning of any materials at a commercial site associated with the business, trade or profession being conducted on that site.
CONTAINED FIRE
Any fire contained in an incinerator, burn barrel, fireplace or cooking grill or other contained enclosure designated for outdoor cooking or in a fireproof container.
ENFORCEMENT OFFICER
The Fire Chief of the Borough of Hellertown and any member of the Hellertown Police Department and the Hellertown Borough Code Enforcement Officer shall be designed enforcement officers under this chapter. Any citation must be issued by a police officer.
FIRE
Any fire set and maintained outside of a building at any stage, including, but not limited to, smoldering or open flame.
OPEN BURNING
The burning of any materials wherein products of combustion are emitted directly into the ambient air without passing through a stack or chimney from an enclosed chamber. For the purpose of this definition, a chamber shall be regarded as enclosed when, during the time combustion occurs, only apertures, ducts, stacks, flues or chimneys necessary to provide combustion air and permit the escape of exhaust gas are open.
PERSON
Any individual, organization, corporation, partnership, governmental agency, association or other legal or commercial entity.
RECREATIONAL FIRE
An outdoor fire utilized to cook food for human consumption.
UNCONTAINED FIRE
Any fire not included in the definition of a "contained fire" or a "recreational fire."

§ 138-4 Prohibition.

It shall be unlawful for any person to cause or allow open burning and commercial burning within the municipal boundaries of the Borough of Hellertown except as is provided for in this article. No person or persons, partnership, firm or corporation or other legal entity shall burn in the open or in any container trash, refuse, paper, leaves, branches, twigs, wood, metal or other waste materials of any kind whatsoever, including weeds, crops or other vegetable matter, whether living or dead, within the limits of the Borough of Hellertown.

§ 138-5 Allowable open burning.

A. 
Open burning shall be allowed in the following instances without obtaining a permit from the Borough of Hellertown:
(1) 
Any recreational fire, including to cook or prepare food, provided that said fire is contained in a fireproof container, which shall include but not be limited to a patio stove, cooking grill, chimineas or factory-built novelty stoves.
(2) 
If smoke, ash or smell emitting from such patio stove, cooking grill, chimineas, or factory-built novelty stoves becomes objectionable or offensive to neighboring properties, the Fire Official, police or code enforcement officers may suspend the operation of same.
(3) 
Materials may be burned by the Borough Fire Department for training of its members only. Said burning, however, shall be permitted in specifically designated areas which receive prior approval of Borough Council and which locations shall not be near or in close proximately to any streets.
B. 
Open burning shall be allowed in the following instances only after a permit is obtained from the Borough of Hellertown:
(1) 
Bonfires for ceremonial purposes, provided Borough Council receives written notice and issues an approval at least 30 days prior to the date of the bonfire. No fee shall be charged for the issuance of a permit as set forth below.
C. 
At no time shall any open burning be allowed to occur unattended without a reasonable adult being present at all times or without a sufficient water source and/or fire extinguishers available to extinguish the fire.

§ 138-6 Open burning ban.

At the order of the Borough, with the recommendation of the Fire Chief, all open burning shall cease immediately due to dry conditions which could cause a threat to the community. Any such prohibition will be published in a newspaper of local circulation. In addition, any open burning ban instituted by the County of Northampton shall supersede the provisions of this chapter.

§ 138-7 Violations and penalties.

Any person, whether as principal, agent or employee, or otherwise, violating or assisting in the violation of any of the provisions of this chapter shall, upon conviction thereof by summary proceedings before any Magisterial District Judge, be sentenced to pay a fine of not less then $300 nor more than $1,000 together with the costs of prosecution. Each violation of any provision of this chapter shall constitute a separate offense, for which a summary conviction may be sought.

§ 138-8 Liability.

The Borough of Hellertown and its agents, officials and representatives shall not, under any circumstances, be liable or responsible for damages caused to any person or property by reason of the provisions of this chapter or by reason of conduct of any burning activity in compliance with the terms and provisions of this chapter. The individual person or party responsible for any such fire shall bear sole liability for any damages caused as a result thereof