An ordinance to clarify the difference between recreational and open burning, and outline the requirements for each passed the Herington City Commission Tuesday, May 3.
Fire Chief Andrew Avantagiato told the commission the ordinance separated open burning on public and private property and defined what recreational fire is.
“Some of the things we did prohibit in open burning is leaves and wet grass,” he said. “If you cut down your tree … that’s not recreational burning … that needs a permit. If you have a little campfire, small flames in a fire pit in your backyard — that’s a recreational fire.”
Only clean dry wood may be burnt in a recreational fire.
Commercially purchased fireplace or chiminea, they can set it up as close as 15 feet to a structure. However, firepits and rings must be at least 25 feet from any structure, vehicle, or oil tank. The firepits, rings and outdoor fireplaces must be at least 15 inches tall and no more than 36 inches in diameter. Fire flame length may not be taller than 24 inches in height and have a lid to contain blowing embers they also cannot be under utility lines
The structure, Avantagiato said, includes anything connected to the house like a porch or deck.
Additionally, a means to extinguish the fire must be present and operational.
Burning on public property is prohibited with the exception cooking in a grill, fireplace or barbecue facility, or in a designated fire ring at Herington Lake. Fires placed on the ground or in stacked stone rings are prohibited.
Open burning on private property will require a permit.
A violation of this ordinance is a Class B misdemeanor and can carry a fine of up to $1,000 and/or up to six months incarceration.