Manchester, Connecticut

Outdoor Burning

Open Burning Policy
The following is the Fire Departments’ policy regarding Open Burning.  There will be no deviation to this policy.

Open Burning is defined as an outdoor fire on property owned, leased or available for use to person(s) that initiated and are maintaining the fire. Open burning is classified as either “authorized” or “unauthorized”.

Authorized open burning is a fire that:
  1. must be maintained appropriately in an approved container
  2. may be on prepared ground, (solid dry ground cleared of combustible materials within 10 feet of fire, with no overhanging branches or structures) and at least 25 feet from all property lines.
  3. is using only an authorized fuel source: charcoal, commercial fire log, seasoned fire-wood; NOT TO INCLUDE: processed wood, wood scraps, brush, leaves, trash and/or debris.
  4. is intended for residential cooking, ambiance, warming or ceremonial and/or religious purposes.
To be “maintained appropriately”:
  • the fire and smoke generated from an authorized open burn must not create a nuisance to other properties or people.
  • the fire is constantly attended by a mature competent person
  • extinguishing capability is readily available if extinguishment becomes necessary
“Approved Containers” are at least 10 feet from any structure and 25 feet from all property lines, and not on combustible surfaces.  Approved containers include:
  • fixed outdoor fireplaces
  • portable commercial fireplaces
  • chimeneas
Propane and charcoal grills are also approved containers and cannot be placed within 3 feet of any combustible surface/structure.

“Unauthorized open burning” is an outdoor fire that:
  1. is intended to burn garbage, leaves, twigs, small branches, processed wood, paper, etc.,
  2. is dangerous or reckless in size or maintenance (too large for the purpose stated),
  3. is a nuisance to the property of another,
  4. is kindled during a high or extreme forest fire alert period.
“Nuisance” to the property of another means a fire whose VISIBLE smoke drifts off property lines with a complaint from another that such smoke is creating a nuisance in doing so. The Fire Department does not have the authority to regulate odors.  A simple odor complaint does not constitute a “nuisance”.