FWFD: Countywide burn ban lifted – what does that mean?

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News release from the Fort Wayne Fire Department:

Countywide burn ban lifted – what does that mean?
The Fort Wayne Fire Department Explains

(July 26 2012) – Today, the Allen County Board of Commissioners announced that the current countywide burn ban would be lifted beginning Friday, July 27, beginning at noon. The Fort Wayne Fire Department (FWFD) would like to explain what this means to Fort Wayne citizens and remind the public about Fort Wayne’s city ordinance regarding open burning.

“Whether a burn ban is issued or not, open burning is restricted – year round,” says Fire Marshal Jim Murua. “Open burning of yard waste, garbage, leaves and other combustible material is never allowed. Recreational campfires/fire pits, bonfires are once again allowed but, as always, have some restrictions.”


Fort Wayne City Ordinance states: No person or business shall kindle or maintain any open burning consisting of a trash fire, leaf fire, bonfire, refuse fire, or other open burning.

(1) Exemptions. The following types of fire may be allowed:
(a) Bonfires celebrating school pep rallies (by permit only).
(b) Recreational camp fires for scouting or family cookout activities.

All exemptions shall be subject to the following:

[list type=”red”]
[li]A garden hose connected to a water supply, buckets, shovel, fire extinguisher or other approved fire extinguishing shall be readily available at the burn site.[/li]
[li]Only wood products shall be burned-no leaves, paper or trash[/li]
[li]A fire shall be attended by a responsible party at all times until completely extinguished.[/li]
[li]A fire shall be located at least 25 feet away from any structure, fence or right of way.[/li]
[li]A fire shall not exceed an area 3 feet wide by 2 feet high.[/li]
[li]If the open burning creates a smoke nuisance, or a hazardous condition exists, the open burning shall be immediately extinguished/[/li]
[li]Anyone who recklessly, knowingly or intentionally kindles, or maintains any open burning consisting of a trash fire, leaf fire, bonfire, refuse fire, or other open burning that damages property of another person or spreads to property of another person may be liable for criminal mischief.[/li]
[li]Any person who maintains burning of combustible materials out of doors or open burning not permitted shall be in violation and may be fined 50 dollars. If the violator does not appear in response to a notice issued to them within a period of 30 calendar days from the date and time shown on the notice, the penalty shall be 75 dollars.[/li]


Late last month, the countywide burn ban was expanded to include private use of fireworks during the 4th of July holiday. Now that the ban will be lifted, the FWFD would like to remind Fort Wayne citizens fireworks are still restricted.

City ordinance states the next time non-licensed/non-permitted fireworks can be discharged is the day before Labor Day, Sunday, September 2, and Labor Day, Monday, September 3 from 10 a.m. until midnight.

[list type=”red”]
[li]Store fireworks in a cool dry area.[/li]
[li]When using fireworks, always have a fire extinguisher, water supply, hose, or bucket of water nearby.[/li]
[li]Be cautious when lighting fireworks when it is windy.[/li]
[li]If fireworks do ignite a fire, contact your local fire department or 911 immediately. Do not attempt to extinguish a large fire by yourself.[/li]

“Now that the countywide burn ban is expected to be lifted, the public needs to recognize that dry conditions still exist,” Murua adds. “Residents still need to use extra care if and when they choose to burn.”

Please contact Stacey Fleming, PIO at 427.1102 with any further questions or concerns. Or visit the FWFD website at www.fortwaynefiredepartment.org for more dry weather safety tips.

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