As the leaves begin to fall from the trees, people look for ways to remove them.  For those considering burning leaves, twigs or trash that have accumulated on their lawns, the Fort Wayne Fire Department reminds everyone to avoid open burning as a general rule.

FWFD Fire Marshal Jim Murua says, “No one is to kindle or maintain open burning consisting of a trash fire, leaf fire, refuse fire, or other open burning according to Fort Wayne City Code.”

He explains that there are two exemptions allowed under certain conditions.

            1.  Bonfires celebrating school pep rallies are one exemption which requires obtaining a Burn Permit from FWFD at least 24 hours in advance of the permitted open burning.  Call 427-1102 for more information or with questions.

            2.  Recreational camp fires for scouting or family cookout activities are allowed without a Burn Permit and are subject to the conditions listed below.

These exemptions must be subject to the following:

·        A garden hose connected to a water supply, buckets, shovel, fire extinguisher or other approved fire-extinguishing equipment shall be readily available at the burn site.

·        Only wood products shall be burned '€“ no leaves, paper or trash.

·        A fire shall be attended by a responsible party at all times until completely extinguished.

·        If the open burning creates a smoke nuisance, or a hazardous condition exists, the open burning shall be immediately extinguished.

·        A fire shall be located at least 25 feet away from any structure, fence or right of way.

·        A fire shall not exceed an area three feet wide by two feet high.

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.

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.  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.  Repeat violators will be fined.

Please take the extra time necessary to exercise safety at all times.