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Open Burning Regulations and FAQs

Post Date:09/24/2020 1:30 PM

The following information is provided to assist citizens with questions regarding outside burning activity.

According to CT General Statutes and the air pollution regulations of State agencies, ALL outside fires are regulated. This includes camp fires, fires used for recreation, cooking, food smokers, warming, or worship. Regardless if the fire is in a container, a fire pit, a cooking device, or appliance, all fires are subject to regulation. These regulations are intended to protect the health and safety of the public and safeguard clean breathing air. This mandated effort seeks to prevent or decrease respiratory illnesses and to prevent the outbreak of unwanted fire.

Clean seasoned fire wood is the only material which can be burned. Charcoal is permitted for cooking fires.

Prohibited materials include - Leaves, green vegetation, pine needles, moss, mulch, trash, papers, garbage, plastics, demolition materials, building materials, organic wastes, furniture including mattresses, pressure treated lumber, wood or plastic pallets, tires, fiberglass, fabrics, books,
vehicle components, flammable liquids, cans, containers, or refuse.

Camp fires no bigger than four feet in diameter do NOT require a permit and are not subject to the time restrictions mentioned below. Fires used for warming, cooking or worship are also not subject to the June 15 to September 15 time restrictions however, these fires are subject to the limitation of no bigger than four feet in diameter.

Bonfires (bigger than four feet in diameter) are required to meet regulatory conditions and need advanced approval by the Fire Marshal.

Under certain limited conditions, the open burning of brush can be conducted with an open burning permit. If you have brush or prunings that you want to dispose of on a property that you own by open burning, please contact the Fire Marshal’s Office at 860-6562-7526. Permitted Open Burning is allowed only during the period between September 16 and June 15. Only dry brush trimmings no bigger than three inches in diameter can be burned.

It is reckless and dangerous to leave any fire unattended and allowing a fire to smolder throughout the night and morning is a practice that is likely to generate complaints. Smoke generated by ANY outside fire that leaves your property and causes a nuisance odor condition is considered to violate the statutes pertaining to the protection of health and air quality and subject to enforcement. Please respect the health and safety of your neighbors and do NOT conduct open burning when conditions might create a nuisance to someone else. No outside fires should be ignited when the wind speed exceeds 15 mph or the forest fire danger is high. Likewise, if the air quality index exceeds 75 anywhere in the State of Connecticut please respect the right of others to breath clean air and restrict any burning activity. Periods of high relative humidity and still air movement are prone to generate smoke odor
complaints.

Open Burning of brush with a permit requires that several optimal conditions exist before burning can take place and the Local Open Burning Official must grant approval prior to each window of burning opportunity.

Residents are encouraged to seek alternative methods of vegetation management other than disposal by open burning.

Should you like to inquire about obtaining an open burning permit and to determine if burning can be conducted safely on your property, please contact the Fire Marshal’s Office at 860-652-7526. Helpful tips will be provided to assist you with preparing and conducting this regulated activity.

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