Burning ordinances and such

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Jess
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Burning ordinances and such

Post by Jess »

We have a yard for the first time since I moved to KC, and I've not had much luck finding information on burning ordinances and the like.  I'm sure I could call the KCFD, but it just seemed easier to post here.

Because the house had sat vacant for a bit, there is a fair amount of smallish yard waste that we've cleaned up in the back yard...twigs, small branches, etc. We cleared away a ton of it on the big lawn waste pickup day in the spring, but not all, and each time there's a thunderstorm, we accumulate more (thanks mostly to a very large, very dead elm that's near the property line that sheds branches constantly).

I'm assuming we can't just up and burn small amounts of yard waste within city limits in an open burn, but what about incinerating small amounts in a backyard fire pit/fire dish?  Does anybody know of rules regulating the use of those sorts of things, or where to find them? I've sifted through a lot of ordinances, but haven't found what I'm looking for.

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Re: Burning ordinances and such

Post by KCPowercat »

My guess is not at all but I would just call 311.  Invaluable resource.
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Re: Burning ordinances and such

Post by shinatoo »

You have to get a permit from the fire department. I would go to your closest fire station and ask. They will know exactly what to do. Firemen in my neighborhood used to get permits all the time to burn. I'm sure they will have to come out and do some kind of site visit to make sure it's safe.
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Re: Burning ordinances and such

Post by LenexatoKCMO »

Buy a chimenea and take care of the "problem" slowly over fall evenings while entertaining out back?  :D  I am sure you don't need any permit for that.

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Re: Burning ordinances and such

Post by loftguy »

My approach to bureacracy embraces the thought that if you ask, the answer is no.  As result, I use my good sense and often bounce the circumstance off of friends/acquaintances.  We have a lot of trees and a fire pit is great for cleanup and a small romantic flame.  It's not much more than a Weber produces.

If you have pyro tendencies though..........

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Re: Burning ordinances and such

Post by LenexatoKCMO »

Do you have a smoker?  You could always start practicing for the American Royal BBQ contest.  KCRag BBQ meetup at Jess' house?  :lol:

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Re: Burning ordinances and such

Post by loftguy »

What would be more KC than elm-smoked ribs?

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Re: Burning ordinances and such

Post by splash »

It's been my experience that it really depends on how much your neighbors care.  We've done a couple of very small, controlled burns and we never had an issue.  I'm fairly certain that it's not ok, but no one reported us.  Last year, we ended up buying one of those cheap fire pit things at Home Depot and we'll occasionally fire it up when we need to get rid of branches and whatnot. 

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Re: Burning ordinances and such

Post by LenexatoKCMO »

loftguy wrote: What would be more KC than elm-smoked ribs?
Why is it that elm is always verboten for bbq?  lots of ash?  Any bbq experts around?  I would have thought it would be a pretty mild hardwood not much different than oak. 

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Re: Burning ordinances and such

Post by PumpkinStalker »

I have an open fire pit in my back yard.  The backyard is pretty trashy, haven't got around to that part of reno yet.  I just put some stones around it, dug a shallow pit, and we sit out all the time with a campfire.  I have a hose on the back corner of the house which makes it plenty easy if something were to go wrong.  I have ridded myself of many things that would be difficult to dispose of, old busted cabinets, the old coal bin from my basement, etc etc.  Nothing harmful to the environment, just wood trash.

Eventually I plan on building a limestone permanent fireplace complete with chimney so smoke stays out of people's eyes.  Something like this...but smaller and made out of rough limestone. 

http://www.landscapeaesthetics.com/imag ... eplace.jpg

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Re: Burning ordinances and such

Post by shinatoo »

It really depends on how much you want to pay if the Fire Department comes out (fire spreads uncontrolled or one of  the neighbors call the fire department on you). Fine is about $500.

Or you could pack it up and take it out to Longview Lake on Saturday morning to the brush drop off.

We used to take turns in my old neighborhood hauling stuff out there. It can be up to an hour and a half line.
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Re: Burning ordinances and such

Post by Slappy the Wang »

Get a 55 gallon drum and burn til you're tired.
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Re: Burning ordinances and such

Post by heatherkay »

KC Municipal codes for burning in Chapter 26, Article II (http://www.municode.com/resources/gatew ... 156&sid=25)

Requirements for open burning are in Sec. 26-307.  Open burning.  Short answer, you need a permit to burn lawn waste for disposal.

But, for fire pits:

Sec. 26-307.1.5. Discontinuance.  The Chief is authorized to require that recreational fires shall be immediately discontinued if such fires are determined by the Chief to constitute a hazardous condition. 

Sec. 26-307.2. Fires used for non-commercial preparation of food.  Fires used for noncommercial preparation of food, such as barbecuing, are permitted provided that the fire is in a freestanding cooking device using fossil fuel or natural gas. It is prohibited to use, store or maintain freestanding cooking devices on wooden decks or wooden balconies, or below wooden decks or wooden balconies, in multifamily dwellings containing more than two units. All barbeque devices shall be at a distance that is not less than ten (10') feet from all portions of a structure that is attached to, or a part of, a multifamily dwelling containing more than two units. 

Sec. 26-307.2.1. Attendance.  Recreational fires shall be constantly attended by a person knowledgeable in the use of fire extinguishing equipment required by this section. An attendant shall supervise a recreational fire until such fire has been extinguished. 

Sec. 26-307.2.2. Fire extinguishing equipment.  Buckets, shovels or garden hoses shall be readily available for use at recreational fires.


So it sounds to me like you can burn stuff in a fire pit so long as (1) you're there, (2) you agree to put it out if someone complains, and (3) you have a fire extinguisher.  But the fire needs to be for recreation and not for disposal.  This is, of course, a matter of semantics, but lots of enforcement stuff is semantic.

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Re: Burning ordinances and such

Post by LindseyLohan »

I have been wondering the same thing. Anybody know where to buy a cheap chimnea?

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Re: Burning ordinances and such

Post by PumpkinStalker »

LindseyLohan wrote: I have been wondering the same thing. Anybody know where to buy a cheap chimnea?
Personally, I think you're better off with a metal fire pit.  I prefer the openess, it's easier to tend and add stuff to.  Cheap chimneas have been on the news for exploding or cracking if they get too hot.  Your local (oxymoron?) big box ought to have a plain old metal firepit for around $70.  Most have a screen and lid to help stop ash and embers. 

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Re: Burning ordinances and such

Post by jdubwaldo »

I would think burning in your backyard in city limits is a serious no no?!?  Some people a few houses down from us did it with a bunch of brush maybe a month or two ago and my husband and I and few of the other neighbors around us almost lost it.....

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Re: Burning ordinances and such

Post by jdubwaldo »

I accidentally pushed post too quickly!  Jess, there is a great service called Nature's Rubbish, that we use.  For $95 per year will pick up brush, leaves, etc from your curb once per week a majority of the year.  You can definitely get rid of a ton of things that way.  A heck of a lot easier than loading stuff up and hauling it somewhere too.

Hope this helps!!

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Re: Burning ordinances and such

Post by PumpkinStalker »

jdubwaldo wrote: I would think burning in your backyard in city limits is a serious no no?!?  Some people a few houses down from us did it with a bunch of brush maybe a month or two ago and my husband and I and few of the other neighbors around us almost lost it.....

just like having children, some people shouldn't have fires either!  Brush burning is stupid, but I don't have a problem if it is cut up small and burned a little bit at a time "for recreation"

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Re: Burning ordinances and such

Post by jdubwaldo »

Definitely depends on how much brush we are talking about here too.  :lol:

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Re: Burning ordinances and such

Post by jdubwaldo »

http://www.kcmo.org/health.nsf/web/aqopenburn

Sec. 8-4. Open burning.
(a)    Refuse burning. No person shall dispose of refuse by open burning, or cause, allow or permit open burning of refuse.
(b)    Conduct of salvage operations by open burning. No person shall cause, allow or permit the conduct of a salvage operation by open burning.
(c)    Open burning of trade wastes.
(1)    No person shall cause, allow or permit the disposal of trade wastes by open burning except as provided in this section.
(2)    Exceptions shall include but not be limited to the following. Burning permits may be required by the director.
a.    Issuance of permit. Any person intending to engage in the open burning of trade wastes or vegetation shall file an application for a permit on a form furnished by the director. The open burning of trade wastes and/or vegetation with an air curtain device may be permitted when it can be shown that it is necessary and in the public interest and that the applicant is willing to comply with the terms and conditions outlined by the director in writing. Trade waste and/or vegetation burning permits may be renewed upon submission of a new application. The fee set forth in section 8-20 shall be submitted prior to the issuance of an operating permit. The terms and conditions imposed by any such permit must be approved by the chief fire prevention inspector. The site and air curtain configuration must by approved by the air quality section. The operator of the burn site must comply with all written instructions on his permit, and all applicable fire ordinances. The burning shall take place only during daylight hours.
b.    Revocation of permit. Any violation of the provisions relating to open burning of trade waste shall be grounds for revocation of the trade waste burning permit by the director or the chief inspector of fire prevention.
(d)    Exceptions to open burning restrictions. General exceptions to open burning restrictions are as follows:
(1)    Fires set in connection with agricultural operations relating to the growing of crops, but not including non-crop vegetation such as trees, brush or fence rows. For the purpose of this paragraph, botanical nursery operations shall not be considered as agricultural operations.
(2)    Fires used for recreational purposes, or fires used for the noncommercial preparation of food such as barbecuing.
(3)    Fires used for training when approved by the director.
(4)    Warmth fires in connection with an activity, such as construction or demolition, may be allowed by the director. The fire must be contained in a 55-gallon drum. Only clean wood may be used; and at no time may the fuel extend beyond the rim of the containing drum. Warmth fires shall be allowed only when the ambient temperature is less than 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
(Code of Gen. Ords. 1967, ? 18.85; Ord. No. 34696, 4-26-68; Ord. No. 36539, 4-3-69; Ord. No. 41255, 6-9-72; Ord. No. 56726, 8-2-84; Ord. No. 96-782, ? A, 8-8-96)
Cross references: Fire prevention and protection, ch. 26; solid waste, ch. 62.


We aren't in Bonner Springs here people.

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