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Essex - Municipal Code - Open Fires - Chapter 5.09

Essex Vermont Municipal Code

Chapter 5.09

OPEN FIRES

Sections:

5.09.010 Purpose of provisions
5.09.020 Burning permit requirements
5.09.030 Permissible open burning
5.09.040 Violation—Penalty

5.09-010 Purpose of provisions.
It is the intent of the ordinance codified in this chapter to provide for the control of open fires to ensure the public’s health, safety and welfare and to provide for the ability to collect penalties when this chapter is violated. (Ord. passed 6/17/96 (part)

5.09.020 Burning permit requirements
A. Open fires of materials other than brush, grass, and natural unpainted, unstained, and untreated dimension lumber and wood products shall not be permitted. Materials such as tires, solid waste, composite materials, treated, painted or stained, pressure treated materials or other materials are specifically prohibited from open fires.

B. Residents wishing to burn brush, grass, natural unpainted, unstained, untreated dimension lumber and wood products shall obtain a burning permit from the town of Essex police department before burning. The times of burning will be allowed at the discretion of the fire warden and/or town of Essex fire chief. There shall be no charge for a burning permit.

C. Individuals having burning permits must maintain control of the fire at all times and not allow its spread beyond their property lines. (Ord. passed 6/17/96 (part)

5.09.030 Permissible open burning.
A. Nothing contained herein shall prevent the Essex fire department from conducting live fire drills and training involving the burning of structures and fields, or motor vehicles. Written notification to adjoining property owners having a structure within a five hundred foot (500’) radius of the proposed burn shall be provided at least six (6) weeks in advance. Property owners shall be given fourteen (14) days from receipt of the written information to appeal the decision of the fire department to burn the building, fields or motor vehicles to the town of Essex Selectboard.

B. Nothing contained herein shall prevent the use of campfires, outdoor grills and fireplaces for recreation or preparing of food provided no public or private nuisance is created. (Ord. passed 6/17/96 (part))

5.09.040 Violation—Penalty.
A. Any person who violates a provision of this chapter shall be subject to a civil penalty of up to five hundred dollars ($500) per day for each day that such violation continues, with a mandatory minimum civil penalty that shall not be less than the civil penalty set for that offense unless the person does not contest the municipal complaint and pays the waiver fee. Police officers, fire warden, deputy fire warden, fire chief and fire officers of the town of Essex shall be authorized to act as issuing municipal officials to issue and pursue before the traffic and municipal ordinance bureau a municipal complaint.

B. An issuing municipal official is authorized to recover a waiver fee, in lieu of a civil penalty, for any person who declines to contest a municipal complaint and pays the following waiver amount for each violation: 

First offense $25.00 plus fire department expense up to $500.00.
Second offense $50.00 plus fire department expense up to $500.00.
Third offense $100.00 plus fire department expense up to $500.00.
Fourth and subsequent offenses $200.00 plus fire department expense up to $500.00.

Offenses shall be counted on a calendar year basis.

C. An issuing municipal official is authorized to recover civil penalties in the following amounts for each violation:

First offense $50.00 plus fire department expense up to $500.00 maximum.
Second offense $100.00 plus fire department expense  up to $500.00 maximum.
Third offense $200.00 plus fire department expense up to $500.00 maximum.
Fourth and subsequent offenses. $400.00 plus fire department expense up to $500.00 maximum.

Offenses shall be counted on a calendar year basis.

D. Fire Department expenses shall be as follows:
1. Pumper at one hundred dollars ($100) per hour each;
2. Tanker at seventy-five dollars ($75) per hour each;
3. Minimum of one (1) hour of pay for each firefighter responding to the call.

E. In addition to the enforcement procedures available before the traffic and municipal ordinance bureau, the town manager or designee is authorized to commence a civil action to obtain injunctive and other appropriate relief, or to pursue any other remedy authorized by law. (Ord. passed 6/17/96 (part)


Don't forget to call!

Telephone: (802) 992-1671

Low danger of fire. You may conduct any permitted fire activities. Remember, everyone is required to call (802) 992-1671 before starting your burn to insure there is not an active restriction.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who can obtain a burn permit?

Only residents living in approved areas can obtain a permit. Permits are conditional and may be revoked at any time.

How can I obtain a burn permit?

You may register online using this website, or if you do not have a printer/computer you may visit us the Police Department for assistance.

What can I burn?

You can only burn brush, grass, natural unpainted, unstained and untreated dimension lumber and wood products.

Do I need a permit?

If you want to have an open-air fire (bonfire, burn pile, etc.) then yes, you need an approved permit. If you are having a barbecue a permit is not required.

Which permit do I need, Open or Bonfire?

An open permit is required for daytime burning of yard debris and general clean up. A bonfire permit is for special occasions/celebrations and is allowed to burn into the evening hours.

I applied for a permit and it says "Pending - Site Visit Required", what do I do next?

Bonfire permits require a representative of the Fire Department to inspect your proposed bonfire location prior to a burn being approved. Once a permit is requested, someone will be in contact with you to schedule a on-site visit.

How do I activate my permit?

Permits are available to activate after 7am on the date requested. To activate, call (802) 992-1671.