Chapter 8.36
OPEN BURNING AND RECREATIONAL FIRES

Sections:

8.36.010    Definitions.

8.36.020    Burning regulated.

8.36.030    Open burning conditions.

8.36.040    Recreational fires.

8.36.050    Burning permits.

8.36.060    Exemptions.

8.36.070    Summary suspension and reinstatement of permit.

8.36.080    Revocation of permit.

8.36.090    Nuisance abatement.

8.36.100    Emergencies.

8.36.110    Penalty for violation of this chapter.

8.36.010 Definitions.

“Air quality index” shall mean the measure of the amount of pollution in the air as determined by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Environmental Protection Agency, or other governmental agency that monitors air pollution.

“Air quality notice” shall mean an advisory issued by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Environmental Protection Agency, or other governmental agency that monitors air pollution when the air quality index reaches or is expected to reach a value of one hundred (100).

“Burn barrel” shall mean a metal open-head drum or tank that typically can hold fifty-five (55) gallons and typically contains holes near the bottom to provide ventilation.

“Clean wood” shall mean natural wood which has not been painted, varnished or coated with a similar material, has not been pressure treated with preservatives and does not contain resins or glues as in plywood or other composite wood products.

“Commercial property” shall mean a property that is not exclusively a single-family dwelling or multiple-family dwelling.

“Decorative appliance” shall mean a vented appliance wherein the primary function lies in the aesthetic effect of the flames.

“Fire chief” shall mean the city of Brookfield fire chief or his or her designee.

“Fire pit” shall mean an above-ground appliance or in-ground appliance designed to contain small fires.

“Garbage” shall mean food waste, food wraps, packaging, animal carcasses, animal waste, paint or painted materials, furniture, composite shingles, construction or demolition debris, or other wastes.

“Highway” shall mean the same as set forth in Section 340.01(22), Wisconsin Statutes.

“Multiple-family dwelling” shall mean the same as in Section 17.04.020.

“One-family dwelling” shall mean the same as in Section 17.04.020.

“Open burn” or “open burning” shall mean a controlled, limited size, open area fire that is typically intended for the disposal of waste wood or yard waste.

“Outdoor fireplace” shall mean a permanent structure with a firebox and a chimney that is located outdoors.

“Permitted combustibles” shall mean dry leaves, dry grass, brush, clean wood sticks, clean wood branches, and clean, small wood logs.

“Person” shall mean any person, firm, organization, or corporation.

“Recreational fire” shall mean a small fire, such as a campfire, built for the purpose of recreational, personal, or aesthetic enjoyment and not intended for the disposal of waste wood or yard waste. (Ord. 2613-20 § 1 (part))

8.36.020 Burning regulated.

A.    No person shall initiate, cause, or conduct burning in violation of this chapter.

B.    No person shall initiate, cause, or conduct burning of the following materials:

1.    Garbage.

2.    Any material liberating a toxic substance or combustion, producing a noxious odor, or creating a health hazard.

3.    Flammable liquids or other materials that create a fire hazard.

4.    Open areas of standing grass, woods, brush, or similar materials.

5.    Any material made of or coated with rubber, plastic, leather, or petroleum-based materials.

6.    Any material required to be recycled by law. This includes newspaper and magazines and other materials printed on similar paper, corrugated cardboard, container board, and office paper.

7.    Any treated or painted wood, including, but not limited to, plywood, composite wood products, or other wood products that are painted, varnished, or treated with preservatives.

8.    Any plastic material including but not limited to nylon, PVC, ABS, polystyrene or urethane foam, synthetic fabrics, plastic films, and plastic containers.

9.    Asphalt and products containing asphalt.

10.    Waste oil or other oily wastes except used oil burned in a heating device for energy recovery subject to the restrictions in Wisconsin Administrative Code NR 590.

C.    No person shall use or maintain a burn barrel. (Ord. 2613-20 § 1 (part))

8.36.030 Open burning conditions.

A.    A person may open burn permitted combustibles on parcels of land with one-family dwellings subject to the following conditions:

1.    Open burning shall occur only between noon and five p.m. on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays in the months of April, May, October, and November. All fires shall be completely extinguished by five p.m.

2.    Open burning shall not occur on the official city of Brookfield “Trick or Treat” day, on days when the air quality index in Waukesha County is one hundred (100) or greater, or on days when an air quality notice has been issued that applies to Waukesha County.

3.    Open burning shall not occur when the wind velocity exceeds ten miles per hour.

4.    Open burning shall not occur in ditches or highways.

5.    The permitted combustibles for open burning shall be less than five feet in diameter and two feet in height and shall be located more than twenty-five (25) feet from the front lot line, fifteen (15) feet from the side lot line, ten feet from the rear lot line, and twenty-five (25) feet from a building.

6.    The person initiating, causing, or conducting the open burning shall be at least eighteen (18) years old, watch and control the burn at all times, and shall have adequate fire extinguishing equipment, such as a garden hose or fire extinguisher, available and ready for instant use. (Ord. 2613-20 § 1 (part))

8.36.040 Recreational fires.

A.    A person may initiate, cause, or conduct a recreational fire on parcels of land with one-family dwellings subject to the following conditions:

1.    Unless using an Underwriters Laboratories (UL) listed natural gas or propane fireplace, the person shall use only clean, dry wood or manufactured fire log materials for the recreational fire. The person shall not use any other materials and shall not use treated, painted, or stained wood.

2.    The recreational fire shall be conducted in an outdoor fireplace or fire pit constructed of metal or masonry that is installed and utilized pursuant to the manufacturer’s instructions. All fire pits shall meet the following standards:

a.    Above-ground fire pits shall have a nontipping base, screen enclosure, and covered top. The maximum size shall be thirty-six (36) inches in diameter or seven square feet.

b.    In-ground fire pits shall be lined with dirt or a noncombustible material such as steel or masonry, have a screen enclosure, and a covered top. The maximum size shall be thirty-six (36) inches in diameter or seven square feet, and the in-ground fire pit shall extend a minimum of twelve (12) inches above ground.

3.    The size of the burning materials shall not exceed twenty-four (24) inches in height and shall not have a flame height exceeding thirty-six (36) inches from the base of the fire at any time.

4.    The outdoor fireplace or fire pit shall be located at a minimum of twenty (20) feet from any property line, wood fence, utility pole, overhead wire, or pile of combustible materials; and a minimum of fifty (50) feet away from any flammable or combustible liquid storage container.

5.    The outdoor fireplace or fire pit shall be placed a minimum of ten feet from any building, structure, or combustible landscaping.

6.    The person initiating, causing, or conducting the recreational fire shall be at least eighteen (18) years old, watch and control the fire at all times, and shall have adequate fire extinguishing equipment, such as a garden hose or fire extinguisher, available and ready for instant use.

7.    The recreational fire shall be conducted only between the hours of twelve p.m. and eleven p.m. All fires shall be completely extinguished by eleven p.m. (Ord. 2613-20 § 1 (part))

8.36.050 Burning permits.

A.    The fire chief is authorized to issue written permits, on forms provided by the fire department, for outdoor fireplaces or fire pits at multiple-family dwellings and commercial properties and for open burning otherwise prohibited by Section 8.36.030. The permit shall be nontransferable and specify the nature of the permitted activity, the dates and location for the permitted activity to occur, and any additional conditions or requirements the fire chief determines pursuant to subsection (B)(4) of this section.

B.    Conditions of Permits Generally.

1.    Every applicant procuring a permit consents to the entry of the fire department, police department, or other duly authorized representatives of the city at all reasonable hours for the purpose of inspection of compliance with this chapter and consents to the removal from said premises of all things and articles there had in violation of this chapter.

2.    The permittee and/or employees and agents of the permittee shall cooperate with fire department and police department investigations.

3.    The permittee shall comply with all provisions of this chapter and all other ordinances of the city of Brookfield and the laws of the state of Wisconsin.

4.    The fire chief may condition the issuance of a permit with any other requirements that he or she deems necessary for the public safety, health, and welfare.

C.    Conditions of Permits for Multiple-Family Dwellings and Commercial Properties. In addition to the permit conditions set forth in subsection (B) of this section, a person initiating, causing, or conducting a recreational fire at multiple-family dwellings and commercial properties shall be subject to the following conditions:

1.    Any burning shall occur in an outdoor fireplace or decorative appliance that is permanently affixed to a surface, utilizes natural gas, and is constructed and installed pursuant to the requirements of the National Fire Protection Association, International Building Code, International Fire Code, and International Fuel Gas Code.

2.    The outdoor fireplace shall be tested in accordance with ANSI Z21.97 and shall be installed in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.

3.    The outdoor fireplace’s heating element or combustion chamber shall be permanently guarded to prevent accidental contact by persons or material.

4.    The outdoor fireplace’s natural gas piping shall be installed pursuant to the requirements of the International Fuel Gas Code.

5.    The outdoor fireplace shall be maintained and in good repair at all times.

6.    Any burning shall occur in compliance with the regulations contained in Wisconsin Administrative Code SPS 314, Fire Prevention, and National Fire Protection Associate Code 1, Fire Code.

7.    Any burning shall be attended at all times by a person at least eighteen (18) years old who has fire extinguishing equipment available and ready for instant use until such fire is extinguished.

8.    The fire chief approves a written statement of operations from the owner of the outdoor fireplace. The written statement of operations shall include the proposed hours of operation of the outdoor fireplace, the identity or identities of the persons proposed to attend any burnings and igniting and extinguishing the outdoor fireplaces and proof of completion of annual fire extinguisher training for them, and compliance with the outdoor fireplace’s safety procedures and installation clearances.

a.    The written statement of operations shall be updated in writing and submitted to the fire chief within five days of any information changing.

D.    Truth of Statements. All matters submitted in writing to the fire chief by any applicant or permittee pertaining to any permit issued pursuant to this chapter shall be true. (Ord. 2613-20 § 1 (part))

8.36.060 Exemptions.

This chapter shall not apply to fire department training exercises, the burning of citronella oil and candles at single-family residences, fireplaces located inside a single-family residence, fires that are permitted by the parks and recreation commission in city parks pursuant to Section 12.24.060(G), fires that are permitted in Waukesha County parks pursuant to Waukesha County park rules and regulations, the smoking of tobacco products except as prohibited by the State Fire Code, or any outdoor food cooking conducted on a grill, griddle, oven, or smoker. (Ord. 2613-20 § 1 (part))

8.36.070 Summary suspension and reinstatement of permit.

A.    Whenever the fire chief finds conditions in the operation of burning subject to a permit under this chapter which in his or her opinion constitutes a substantial hazard to the public health, safety, or welfare, she or he may without warning, notice, or hearing issue a written notice to the permittee citing the condition, specifying the corrective action to be taken, and specifying the time period within which the action shall be taken; and, if deemed necessary, the order shall state that the permit is immediately suspended and all burning is to be immediately discontinued.

B.    The permittee, whose permit has been suspended by the fire chief, may, at any time, make application for reinstatement of the permit. The fire chief shall make a reinspection and thereafter as many additional reinspections as he or she deems necessary to ensure that the person is complying with the requirements; and, in the event the findings indicate compliance, shall reinstate or reissue the permit. (Ord. 2613-20 § 1 (part))

8.36.080 Revocation of permit.

A.    The fire chief may refuse to issue a permit or suspend, revoke, or non-renew any permit issued pursuant to this chapter for any of the following causes:

1.    The making of any material false statement in any application for a permit.

2.    The violation of any of the applicable provisions of this chapter.

3.    The permittee has unpaid or overdue real or personal property taxes, room taxes, special assessments, special charges, special taxes, delinquent utility charges, ambulance fees, inspection fees, an outstanding judgment(s), or any other charge owed to the city of Brookfield.

4.    The applicant or permittee misrepresents any fact to the fire chief.

B.    Appeal to Administrative Appeals Board. Any person adversely affected by the decision of the fire chief may appeal that decision to the administrative appeals board, which may decide the issues de novo, and whose written decision will be the final decision of the city. The city elects not to be governed by Chapter 68, Wisconsin Statutes, in whole for an appeal under this chapter.

C.    Deadline to Appeal. Appeals, including the filing fee, shall be filed within ten business days of the written decision of the fire chief. (Ord. 2613-20 § 1 (part))

8.36.090 Nuisance abatement.

If a fire department or police department official determines that any open burning or recreational fire creates or causes a health or safety hazard or otherwise unreasonably interferes with the use and enjoyment of other properties within the city, the official may order the fire immediately extinguished and may extinguish the fire if a person refuses to do so after the extinguishment order. (Ord. 2613-20 § 1 (part))

8.36.100 Emergencies.

Whenever, due to dry conditions, the fire chief shall deem it necessary to prohibit any burning permitted under this chapter in the city, the fire chief shall issue a notice banning any burning in the city. Such notice shall be published on the city website, and a press release shall be provided to local news media. No person shall conduct any burning until the fire chief lifts such ban. (Ord. 2613-20 § 1 (part))

8.36.110 Penalty for violation of this chapter.

Any person, firm, partnership, or corporation who violates any part of this chapter shall be subject to the penalty and enforcement provisions in Chapter 1.12. (Ord. 2613-20 § 1 (part))