Columbiana approves burn permit policies

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 21, 2003

Anyone wanting to burn untreated wood, tree trimmings, brush or plant growth generated from the clearing or maintenance of land or from demolition must now obtain a burn permit in person from the Columbiana Police Department dispatcher.

The Columbiana City Council unanimously adopted a burn permit policy at its Tuesday, Oct. 7 meeting.

Mayor Allan Lowe pointed out that the permit is required as a policy of the city rather than as an ordinance because it does not require any fees and imposes no fines.

Under the policy, all open burning must be conducted at least 500 feet from the nearest occupied residence other than the dwelling located on the property of which the burning is conducted.

The location must also be at least 50 feet from any structure or wildland property, and adequate provisions must be made to prevent the fire from spreading.

In addition, the burning must be at least 25 from any public road, street or highway and must be controlled to avoid creating a traffic hazard.

Under no circumstance, according to the city council, may any heavy oils, asphalt materials, items containing natural or synthetic rubber, plastic or refuse be burned.

And no burning can be started or maintained with gasoline.

The initial burning must be conducted between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m., and no combustible materials can be added after 3 p.m.

Burning can be conducted only when there is good ventilation and the prevailing wind direction is away from any built-up area, the council determined.

No burning can be done in areas under a current Air Stagnation Advisory issued by the National Weather Service.

No burning can be conducted during a drought emergency declared by the governor of Alabama or the mayor of Columbiana.

And no burning can be done when local conditions make such burning hazardous as determined by the Columbiana Fire Department.

In addition, the fire must be attended at all times.

An applicant for a burn permit must

pick it up and sign it in person at the police station acknowledging that he or she is responsible for complying with the listed restrictions.

Information required will be name of the individual or business, address, home, work or cellular phone numbers, location of the burn site, description of the material to be burned and signature of the applicant.

According to Mayor Lowe, the Columbiana Police Department will be responsible for the enforcement of this policy.

It is noted in the policy that this permit does not supercede any required state or county permits. Lowe pointed out it is based on existing state law