Open burning of dry yard waste will be allowed in November within the St. Joseph city limits.
The laws regulating open burning include:
1. Fires are allowed only between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m.
2. All fires must be in an upright container with a volume equal to no more than 55 gallons. A drum-size container constructed of wire mesh (chicken wire or something similar) is permissible.
3. No fire can be within 15 feet of any building.
4. Only one burn container per residence is allowed.
5. All fires shall be monitored from a point close to where the fire is located by a person capable of containing a fire, should that be necessary.
6. Yard waste only (leaves, brush, logs); no trash, paper, lumber or building debris may be burned.
7. Firefighting material including a garden hose or a container of water sufficient to contain any fire started must be at the site of the fire.
Fire department response to “open burning” calls will be nonemergency (no lights and siren) unless the fire involves or is threatening a structure. Any violation of the open burning restrictions may result in a summons to appear in court for a misdemeanor violation.
If weather conditions such as high winds indicate the safety of the community or the public may be endangered or if open burning may create a health hazard, the fire chief or health director may invoke a temporary burning ban.
Residents are encouraged to explore alternatives to open burning. Such activities include mowing leaves into fine particles and leaving them lay to fertilize the lawn or incorporating leaves into a mulch container to decompose into humus for use in vegetable and flower gardens or for use on lawns as a soil amendment. Larger wood brush that can be chipped makes excellent mulch around trees and shrubs.
Open burning session will not be extended due to weather blackout dates.