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Open Burning

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July 27, 2015- Code Revision regaring Section 2 listed below!!

The following is directly from Chapter 69 of the Upper Gwynedd Township Code regarding outdoor burning:

PROHIBITED ACTS

No person shall cause, allow, permit or maintain an outdoor bonfire or the burning of the following on a street or on public or private property, whether in connection with any building operation, in an open dump or otherwise, except as otherwise permitted by § 69-2:

  1. Garbage.
  2. Household, business or industrial, solid waste as defined by Upper Gwynedd Code Ch. 160. Solid Waste Management, trash or similar waste products of every kind of nature.
  3. Yard waste including, among others, leaves, yard trimmings, brush, grass and similar organic matter.

EXCEPTIONS

  1. Fires maintained in barbecue pits, grilles or similar facilities for the cooking of food are exceptions.
  2. The Fire Marshal shall have authority to grant a permit for the following reasons or reason similar:
    1. To prevent or abate a fire hazard.
    2. For the purpose of instructing personnel in fire fighting.
    3. For the prevention and control of disease and pests.
    4. For fires set solely for ceremonial purposes.

VIOLATIONS & PENALTIES

  1. Any person or persons, firms or corporation who shall violate any of the provisions of this chapter, upon conviction thereof, shall be liable to pay a fine or penalty not to exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000.) for each and every offense. All fines and penalties imposed by this chapter are recoverable by summary proceedings before the District Justice, and all suits or actions at law instituted for the recovery thereof are to be in the name and for the use of Upper Gwynedd Township, against which the offenses are committed. In default of payment of any fine or penalty imposed by any District Justice under the provisions of this chapter, the person or persons so offending may be committed to the Montgomery County Prison for a period not exceeding thirty (30) days.
  2. Each day a violation is committed shall constitute a separate offense and shall be punishable as such hereunder.
  3. This section shall not preclude the township from any other remedy it may have at law or equity.

Update to the Code, July 27th, 2015

Below is the update to the code, specifically Chapter 69, Section 2. It was voted to amend the current code at the July 27th, 2015 Board of Commissioners meeting.

Chapter 69, Section 69-2 of the Upper Gwynedd Township Code of Ordinances is hereby revised to read as follows:

  1. Notwithstanding the prohibitions set forth in Section 69-1, fires maintained in barbecue pits, grills or similar facilities for the cooking of food are permitted.
  2. Recreational fires and burning devices. Recreational fires as defined at §302.1 of the International Fire Code, as amended, and recreational burning devices, such as those available commercially or built under the provisions of the International Building Code, as amended, shall be permitted with the following conditions:
    1. Burning that will be offensive or objectionable because of smoke or odor emissions when atmospheric conditions or local circumstances make such fires hazardous shall be prohibited.
    2. The Fire Marshal is authorized to order the extinguishment by the resident or the fire department of burning which creates or adds to a hazardous or objectionable situation.
    3. Recreational fires shall not be conducted within twenty-five (25) feet of a structure or combustible material. Conditions which could cause a fire to spread within twenty-five (25) feet of a structure shall be eliminated prior to ignition.
    4. Attendance: Recreational fires shall be constantly attended until the fire is extinguished. A minimum of one (1) portable fire extinguisher complying with Section 906 of the International Fire Code with a minimum 4-A rating or other approved on-site fire extinguishing equipment, such as dirt, sand, water barrel, garden hose or water truck shall be available for immediate utilization.
    5. The size of the device shall be no larger than three (3) feet in diameter and two (2) feet in height.
  3. The Fire Marshal shall have authority to grant a permit for fires for the following reasons or reasons similar thereto:
    1. To prevent or abate a fire hazard.
    2. For the purpose of instructing personnel in firefighting.
    3. For the prevention and control of disease and pests.
    4. For fires set solely for ceremonial purposes.

Examples

Photos below depict the types and styles of devices that may be used for Recreational Burning. This list is not all inclusive, and should you have a specific question, please contact the Fire Marshal's office. If you plan on making a true "pit" within the ground, you must first contact PA One-Call by dialling 8-1-1 on your home or mobile phone.

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