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OUTDOOR BURNING INFORMATION

The open burning policy and procedures that the Southington Fire Department follows come directly from the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP.) There are two types of outdoor burning: open burning and recreational burning.

Please be considerate of your neighbors whenever you burn!

OPEN BURNING

An application for Open Burning must be submitted and approved by the Open Burning Official prior to burning. You may download the form from the link below or obtain it at Fire Headquarters, 310 North Main St., Southington, CT.  Applications may be submitted through the mail or in person along with the permit fee of $20.00. Approval will only be given after a site inspection is done and signed by the Open Burning Official. 

The following are the general conditions required by the Connecticut General Statutes in Section 22a-174 and the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies (DEEP):

  • The Forest Fire Danger Level must not be high, very high or extreme as found on the Daily Forest Fire Danger Report
  • The Air Quality Index (AQI) prediction must be 75 or lower everywhere in the State, that prediction can be found on the Air Quality Index Report
  • ONLY BRUSH, 3" or less in diameter may be burned; no Leaves, Stumps, Trash Etc.
  • The permittee/applicant must reside on the property where burning is to take place
  • Burning must cease when directed by the Fire Marshal, Fire Chief or their designees, the Open Burning Official or upon order of any official of the Connecticut DEEP
  • Burning should be complete and attempts to reduce excessive smoke should be taken
  • Safety precautions must be taken
  • The area around the burning site/pile must be cleared to prevent fire spread, wetting down the surrounding area may be required, and a water hose must be on site for purposes of control
  • The permit must be immediately available at the site during burning
  • Burning may only be conducted between 10 am and 5 pm on a sunny or partly sunny day when the wind speed is between 5 and 15 mph

RECREATIONAL BURNING

Recreational burning, through the burning of wood in a campfire, bonfire, chiminea or other similar device, must also follow the guidelines of Daily Forest Fire Danger Report and Air Quality Index Report.

The following are the Fire Department’s guidelines for recreational and outdoor cooking fires:

  • All fires must be kindled in an approved commercially or privately manufactured outdoor recreational fire appliance such as a fireplace, fire pit, and fire pit table or fire ring.A hand dug fire pit must be at least one (1) foot below grade and no more than a four (4) foot outside diameter and the outside edge shall be ringed with brick or stone. Fires shall be no closer than 15 feet from any building, structure, shed, garage, trees, shrubs, bush, fence or any other combustible material.Recreational fire appliances shall not be located on wooden or composite decks.
  • Only clean dry wood may be burned, the diameter of which is not less than three (3) inches or not greater than six (6) inches at its widest point or longer the three (3) feet in length.  No leaves, grass, trash, pallets, treated or painted wood, construction/demolition debris, rubber, plastic, textiles or petroleum based materials and nothing that contains flammable or combustible liquids.
  • Fires shall be so managed that the flames do not exceed three (3) feet above a fire pit and burning material is contained within the confines of the appliance/fire pit.
  • Prevailing wind conditions shall be less than 10 miles per hour and shall not create a nuisance* for neighboring property owners.
  • No burning shall take place if the forest fire danger is HIGH, VERY HIGH or EXTREME or burning is within 100 feet of grassland of woodland or an Air Quality Alert has been issued by the State of Connecticut D.E.E.P.
  • Fires are permitted between the hours 8:00 a.m. and midnight.  All fire must be extinguished by midnight.
  • Fires must be attended at all times by at least one rational person deemed responsible (age eighteen or older ) by the senior fire officer on scene.
  • Adequate fire suppression equipment such as shovels, properly rated fire extinguishers or a garden hose shall be accessible at all times while the fire is burning.
  • Should a fire be determined a nuisance* it shall be extinguished immediately.
  • These guidelines do not apply to grilling or cooking using charcoal, propane or natural gas in cooking/grilling appliances or barbeques being used for food preparation.

*Nuisance:  shall mean a situation as seen by the senior fire officer in which a fire creates an environment on or in a property, other than the property where the fire is occurring, which is considered to be unhealthy, hazardous, reasonably annoying, uncomfortable, unsafe, creating a traffic hazard, creating a persistent odor or would cost resources to eliminate the odor from the property.  This shall apply to, but not be limited to smoke, soot, fumes, odors, vapors, noxious gases, products of combustion, heat and incomplete products of combustion. 

Fires must be extinguished if deemed unsafe for any of the above mentioned reasons if instructed by the senior fire official on scene.

Questions regarding the outdoor burning information can be directed to the Town of Southington's Open Burning Official or the on duty battalion chief at 860-621-3202.

After hour complaints shall be directed to Central Dispatch at 860-378-1600.

Links:

Open Burning Permit Application

DEEP  - Open Burning

DEEP  - Information on Restrictions, Conditions, & Permitting

DEEP  - Campfires, Bonfires, Fire Pits, Chimineas, and other Similar Devices

DEEP  - Enforcement of Open Burning in Connecticut