Burn ordinance in force for city

Published 5:38 pm Tuesday, June 27, 2006

A burn ban is not in force within the city limits of Poplarville at the present time, but the city has adopted an ordinance prohibiting open burning without first obtaining a permit.

City Clerk Jody Stuart said anyone wanting to burn within the city limits must contact the fire department and obtain a written permit before burning. Fire department personnel will inspect the site and the material to be burned before issuing the permit.

Anyone found in violation of the ordinance may be charged with a misdemeanor and, if convicted, shall be subject to a $100 fine, according to the ordinance.

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The ordinance was unanimously adopted at the last meeting of Board of Aldermen on June 20.

At the same meeting, aldermen also accepted the resignation of Fire Chief Chris Carr, who is leaving to take a position at the state fire academy in Jackson, Stuart said.

Aldermen later in the meeting voted unanimously to appoint Assistant Fire Chief Kris Foster to the chief’s slot, Stuart said. Foster earlier served in Poplarville’s fire department, then worked in Picayune’s fire department before moving back to Poplarville.

Aldermen have been studying a burn ordinance for a while, Stuart said. Fire Chief Carr got information and ideas from other ordinances in the area and presented the current document for the city’s consideration at the last aldermen’s meeting, she said.

The ordinance refers to ordinary organic combustible materials such as leaves, trimmings and limbs as the only materials allowed for open burning. All other materials are prohibited for open burning.

Materials allowed for open burns fall into three categories:

— Leaves, trimmings and limbs less than 4 inches in diameter, pile no more than 6 feet in diameter and 4 feet in height;

— Brush piles, bonfires, area fires or other fires not listed above with material no larger than 8 inches in diameter. Included in this category are field or land clearing fires or other fires larger than 36 square feet, including recreational bonfires.

— Those fires covering an area larger than 36 square feet or material larger than 8 inches in diameter. Fires in this class may be left burning overnight with special consideration.

Permits are issued on a day to day basis as weather conditions allow, according to the ordinance.

All fires must be placed so that there is no danger from heat, smoke or other products of combustion and some form of fire control such as a garden hose or extinguisher must be available during the burn. All fires, except those of Class III with special permission, must be out by 6 p.m.

All fires must be at least 50 feet from any structure or explosive hazards. The department reserves the right to extinguish a fire at any time. All permit applicants assume full responsibility for any damages resulting from an uncontrolled or unattended fire.