Controlled Burning in Upper Mount Bethel Township

Contact John Bocko Jr. for permission for all burning in the township. Call (570) 688-6191

 

UPPER MOUNT BETHEL TOWNSHIP

NORTHAMPTON COUNTY, PA

ORDINANCE 2005-01

AN ORDINANCE OF THE BOARD OF SUPERVISORS OF UPPER MOUNT BETHEL

TOWNSHIP, NORTHAMPTON COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA, PROVIDING FOR AND

REGULATING THE USE OF OPEN FIRES AND BURNING BY THE ESTABLISHMENT

OF SPECIFIC REGULATIONS, EXCEPTIONS, AND DEFINITIONS, DESIGNATING AN

ENFORCEMENT OFFICER AND PRESCRIBING PENALTIES FOR VIOLATION.

WHEREAS, the Township of Upper Mount Bethel, Northampton County, Pennsylvania, is a

duly organized and existing Township of the Second Class within the County of Northampton,

Commonwealth of Pennsylvania; and,

WHEREAS, the purpose of this ordinance is to promote the general health, safety and welfare of

the citizens of Upper Mount Bethel Township pursuant to the Second Class Township Code (53 P.S.

Section 66506) and to promote public safety pursuant to the Second Class Township Code (53 P.S.

Section 66527); and,

WHEREAS, Upper Mount Bethel Township intends to adopt an ordinance regulating open and

outdoor fires and burning within the Township; and,

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT ORDAINED AND ENACTED and it is hereby ordained and

enacted by the Board of Supervisors of Upper Mount Bethel Township, Northampton County, PA as

follows:

SECTION 1: TITLE – This ordinance shall be known as the Upper Mount Bethel Township Outdoor

Burning Ordinance; and all recitals are herein incorporated by reference.

SECTION 2: DEFINITIONS

1. CONTAINED FIRE. Any fire contained in an incinerator, fireplace, barbecue grill or

other contained enclosure designed for outdoor cooking or a fireproof container.

2. CONTROLLED FIRE. Any fire not included in the definition of Contained Fire.

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3. FURNACE. Any enclosed device specifically designed for burning any material for the

production of heat.

4. GARBAGE. All paper, cardboard, Styrofoam, plastic, animal and vegetable matter

resulting from the handling, preparation, cooking and consumption of food.

5. INCINERATOR/NON COMBUSTIBLE CONTAINER. Any device specifically

designed for the destruction, by burning, of refuse, sewage sludge, or any combustible

material.

6. OFFAL. The waste or byproducts of a process; the viscera and trimmings of a butchered

animal removed in dressing.

7. OPEN FIRE. A fire in which any material is burned in the outdoors or open or in a

receptacle other than a furnace or incinerator.

8. PERSON. Any individual, partnership, association, corporation, department, bureau,

agency or legal entity.

9. REFUSE. Garbage, rubbish and trade waste.

10. RESPONSIBLE ADULT. An individual 18 years or older who is not under the influence

of drugs or alcohol or suffering from any other disability which would impair his or her

ability to properly supervise a fire.

11. RUBBISH. Solids not considered to be highly flammable or explosive, including but not

limited to rags, old clothes, leather, rubber, carpets, excelsior, ashes, furniture, tin cans,

glass crockery, masonry, plastics, recyclable items and other similar items.

12. SALVAGE OPERATIONS. Any business, trade or industry engaged in whole, or in

part, in salvaging or reclaiming any product or material, including, but not limited to,

plastics, metals, chemicals, shipping containers or drums.

13. TRADE WASTE. All solid or liquid material or rubbish resulting from construction or

building operations, or the performance of any business, trade or industry, including, but

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not limited to, plastic products, cartons, paint, grease, oil, and other petroleum products,

chemicals, cinders and other forms of solid or liquid waste materials; provided that “trade

waste” shall not include any coal refuse associated with mining or preparation of coal.

SECTION 3: REGULATIONS

1. Open fires shall be permitted, upon private property within the Township, provided that

the following regulations and restrictions are strictly adhered to:

1. Burning is allowed during the following time specifications:

a. Monday thru Friday – sunrise to sunset

b. Saturday and Sunday – sunrise to 3:00pm

2. Every contained fire shall be built in and confined to a non-combustible container

covered with a screen of ½ inch or smaller mesh, or with other suitable non-combustible

cover, and shall not be permitted closer than twenty-five (25) feet from any wooded area

or building.

3. Every controlled fire that is not built in and confined to a non-combustible container

as stated above, and every open fire, shall not be permitted closer than fifty (50) feet from

any wooded area or building and shall not exceed 12 square feet in area.

4. No controlled fire that is not built in and confined to a non-combustible container as

stated above and no open fire shall be allowed unless the person who intends to do the

burning or the owner of the property on which the burning is to occur first obtains

permission from Mount Bethel or North Bangor Volunteer Fire Company officials. A

current list of officials is available at the Township Municipal Building.

2. All fires shall be attended to at all times by a responsible adult with a readily available

means of extinguishing the fire.

3. All fires must be extinguished thoroughly with no embers or smoldering.

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4. No burning of any kind is allowed during a Fire Ban Emergency, as proclaimed by

Northampton County or the Upper Mount Bethel Township Board of Supervisors. This

includes those listed in Section 4 of this Ordinance.

5. The burning of any structures for demolition purposes must be approved by the Mount

Bethel or North Bangor Volunteer Fire Company.

SECTION 4: EXCEPTIONS

1. The following are exceptions to Section 3.1. All other sections of this ordinance apply.

While the following are exempt form the above section, the Township encourages those

in the following subsections a, b, d, e, f, g and h to notify the local Fire Departments prior

to burning.

a. Fire used for the burning of waste generated by clearing and grubbing prior to

construction, as long as smoke odors, ash or sparks and embers do not cross onto

other properties.

b. Fire set in conjunction with the production of agricultural commodities in their

un-manufactured state on the premises of the farm operation.

c. Fire set solely for recreational or ceremonial purposes or used only for cooking.

d. Fire set to prevent or abate a fire hazard.

e. Fire set for the purpose of instructing personnel in fire fighting.

f. Fire set for the prevention and control of disease or pests.

g. Prescribed controlled fire for the conservation and management of unique and

natural areas and/or for the reduction of fuel loads.

h. Fire used as a management technique for preventing wildfires, scientific research,

or vegetation management.

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SECTION 5: PROHIBITED BURNING

1. Burning of construction debris, plastics, aerosol cans, trade wastes, by-products of

manufacturing and processing operations and wastes from commercial operations is

strictly prohibited.

2. No refuse, rubbish or offal may be burned at any time either indoors or out-of-doors.

3. Burning of plastic, vinyl or rubber-coated wires is prohibited.

4. Fires shall be used only to burn readily combustible materials.

5 Nothing herein shall be construed to permit or encourage the burning of any substance

determined by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania or the United States Environmental

Protection Agency to be a “hazardous substance”; nor shall any fire be permitted to burn

by any persons if such burning is in violation of the Air Pollution Control Act or other

legislation by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania or the United States of America or any

of their legislative agencies.

SECTION 6: FIRE BAN EMERGENCY

The Board of Supervisors may declare a fire ban emergency in Upper Mount Bethel Township

with or without consultation with the fire chiefs of the volunteer fire companies operating within

the Township during periods of drought, or other periods of high fire risk to woodlands or

property within the Township.

The Council of the County of Northampton may declare a fire ban emergency in Northampton

County with or without consultation with the fire chiefs of the volunteer fire companies

operating within the Township during periods of drought, or other periods of high fire risk to

woodlands or property within the Township.

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Upon the Board of Supervisors or the Council of Northampton County declaring a fire ban

emergency, all outdoor burning or fires shall be prohibited until the ban is lifted by the Board of

Supervisors or the Council of Northampton County.

The Township shall publish a notice of the fire ban emergency at least once in a local newspaper

of general circulation. In addition, the Township may issue new releases to all communication

media, including radio, television and newspapers.

SECTION 7: ENFORCEMENT

The Board of Supervisors shall appoint the Zoning and Codes Enforcement Officer as

enforcement officer. Said Officer shall have the power to enforce the provisions of this

ordinance.

SECTION 8: PENALTIES

It shall be unlawful to burn, ignite, incinerate, maintain or otherwise permit the burning of any

materials whatsoever without complying with the requirements of this Ordinance.

Any person who shall violate any of the provisions of this Ordinance shall, upon conviction in a

summary proceeding brought in the name of the Township before a district justice in the same

manner provided for the enforcement of summary offenses under the Pennsylvania Rules of

Criminal Procedure, be sentenced to pay a fine of not more than $1,000.00, and the costs of

prosecution, and in default of payment, to imprisonment for a term not to exceed 90 days,

provided that each day’s violation of any of the provisions of this Ordinance shall constitute a

separate offence.

SECTION 9: ADDITIONAL COSTS

1. In the case of a fire requiring fire fighters and/or equipment and upon conviction of any

violation of this Ordinance, the violator shall also pay charges in order to cover the fire

fighting costs. Charges shall be assessed for use of the following fire fighting equipment:

a. Pumpers and tankers.

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b. Brush busters. Brush busters are all-wheel-drive vehicles equipped for off-road or

wooded area use with a water tank of at least five hundred (500) gallons capacity

and an appropriate size pump.

c. Chain saws.

d. Any other equipment needed to contain and extinguish the fire.

2. Additional labor charges shall be assessed under this Ordinance based upon an hourly

rate for all firemen engaged in the fire fighting activities.

3. The Board of Supervisors shall determine, by resolution, a reasonable schedule of costs

based upon mileage, operating costs and fire fighting equipment and man hours. These

charges shall be in addition to, and not in lieu of, any penalties provided elsewhere in this

Ordinance.

SECTION 10: REPEALER

All ordinances, or parts of ordinances, which are inconsistent herewith are hereby repealed.

SECTION 11: SEVERABILITY

If any sentence, clause, section, or part of this Ordinance is, for any reason, found to be

unconstitutional, illegal or invalid, such unconstitutionality, illegality or invalidity shall not

affect or impair any of the remaining provisions, sentences, clauses, sections or parts of the

Ordinance. It is hereby declared as the intent of the Board of Supervisors that this Ordinance

would have been adopted has such unconstitutional, illegal or invalid sentence, clause, section or

part thereof nit been included herein.

SECTION 12: MUNICIPAL LIABILITY

The Board of Supervisors, and its agents, officers, officials, employees and representative shall

not, under any circumstances, be liable or responsible for damages caused to any person or

property by reason of the provisions of this Ordinance or by reason of the conduct of any burning

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activity in compliance or noncompliance with the terms and provisions hereof. The person,

persons, company or companies responsible for any such fire and the property owner shall bear

sole liability for any damages caused as a result thereof.

Moreover, compliance with the Ordinance shall not constitute a representation, guarantee or

consent of any kind by the Township (or any of its agents, officers, officials, employees or

representatives) of the practicality or safety of any fire and shall create no liability of any kind

upon the Township (or any of its agents, officers, officials, employees or representatives).

THIS ORDINANCE,

the Board of Supervisors of Upper Mount Bethel Township at the Township’s Regular Monthly meeting held

on the _____ day of ________________ 2005.

BOARD OF SUPERVISORS

UPPER MOUNT BETHEL TOWNSHIP

ATTEST: NORTHAMPTON COUNTY, PA

______________________________ __________________________________

Loren Rabbat, Secretary Andrew Nestor, Jr., Chairman

being duly presented by motion, and duly seconded, was carried and adopted by

Mt. Bethel Township