Lake County Fire Chiefs Offer Tips for Safe Open Burning

Use caution when using outdoor fire pits or burning yard waste.

Fire Chiefs from around Lake County urge residents to use extreme caution and follow the rules this autumn when using outdoor fire pits and open burning landscape waste.

The leaves are turning colors and falling quickly. Many residents enjoy open burning and sitting by a warm fire pit. However, there are many hazards associated with outdoor fires. Here’s a few rules and tips:

  • Call the local fire department before you start burning.
  • Burning must take place during the day light hours. Best time of the day to burn is the mid-morning to mid-afternoon as smoke should disperse quicker.
  • Open burning must be attended by an adult at all times.
  • A water source of some sort must be provided. (hose or a fire extinguisher)
  • Open burning must be 25’ from any structures. (50’ from schools & roads—NOT in Road)
  • Maximum size of any burn pile is 3’ in diameter and 3’ high.
  • Materials being burned are limited to landscape waste generated on the property of the burn site.
  • Burning trash or construction debris is strictly prohibited.
  • DO NOT use gasoline as a fire starter. It is explosively dangerous!
  • Wind velocity must exceed 5 MPH and must not exceed 15 MPH.
  • Smoke from open burning shall not obstruct visibility on roadways, etc.
  • Fire or smoke must not create a hazard or nuisance situation. Be courteous and respectful to your neighbors especially those with breathing problems.
  • Dispose of ashes by drowning them and placing them in a metal can away from buildings.
  • Outdoor grills and metal fire pits are limited to recreation and cooking fires and must be used according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

In recent years there has been much debate in many communities about open burning. Different communities have different rules. Many prohibit open burning at all. Fire Chiefs suggest checking with your local fire department before open burning.

For additional information visit www.lakecountyfirechiefs.org.

—The Countryside Fire Protection District provided this information.


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