Weekly Feature

2014-06-25 / Local News

Town reminds residents of open burning regulations

Town Supervisor Barry Weinstein is reminding residents of the rules concerning outdoor burning.

Weinstein said the outdoor fire regulations were developed to ensure not only the safety of citizens, but also the enjoyment of backyards and homes throughout the year. Large outdoor fires (bonfires) are not permitted unless legally authorized in conformity with New York State Environmental Conservation Law, through a burning permit issued by the Amherst Building Department’s Fire Safety Division. However, small recreational fires are permitted for legitimate cooking or warmth without a permit, provided they be in some type of controlled area or enclosure, such as a stone-surround fire pit, brick barbecue, metal fire stand or clay chiminea.

The burning of combustible material, shrubs, tree branches or leaves for a non-recreational purpose is not permitted. Thomas Ketchum, commissioner of building, established the following policy:

• Recreational fires must be contained in a stone-surround or open fire pit, brick barbecue, metal fire stand or clay chiminea. If contained in a metal fire stand with spark arrestor and top or clay chiminea or other approved appliance, the fire must be located a minimum of 15 feet from a structure or combustible material.

• If contained in a stone surround or open fire pit, the fire must be a minimum of 25 feet from a structure or combustible material. The woodpile can be no larger then 3 feet in diameter and 2 feet in height. All fires must be constantly attended at all times until extinguished. Some type of onsite fire extinguishing equipment is required, such as a five-pound ABC fire extinguisher, dirt, sand, water bucket or garden hose.

• If the town receives a complaint from a neighbor that the smoke from the fire has become offensive, objectionable or a nuisance, the proper authorities will respond and attempt to provide a solution, such as moving the location of the fire or not burning when there is high humidity. If this does not resolve the complaint, the fire must be extinguished. If the owner or resident has been previously warned, the town may issue a violation summons.

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