LTE: It’s more than “Burn Baby Burn”

Dear Editor:

I wrote a letter April 25, 2013 to the Curwensville Borough Council. No action was taken when I attended a meeting of the borough council.

I was told all one must do is request that folks extinguish their fires and they must comply and or call the police department. I witnessed a neighbor burning on Sunday and others burning when they feel like it.

They were burning openly materials that are not permitted to be incinerated without consideration to any of the surrounding neighbors, their physical conditions, property protection, extinguishing abilities or public safety.

When are we going to get the attention of our elected officials to act in a responsible manner to protect the health, property and welfare of the citizens? The idea of hours of burning is not enforced; there is also nothing dealing with open burning being enforced.

Members of the Curwensville Borough Council must look harder at its writing of an open burning ordinance. It appears as though some areas of concern are being overlooked, including:

(a) the distance between dwellings/ structures and the fire pit/burning apparatus.

(b) the type of materials that are permitted to be burned.

(c) the implementation of an emergency action plan in case an open burn turns into a catastrophic event.

(d) the requirement of fire control, such as a fire extinguisher/water supply within the fire burn area.

(e) the communication with emergency personnel in case a medical emergency occurs due to an individual’s exposure to smoke, fumes, gases, etc. emitted from the burning material.

(f) the implementation of a Safety Zone around or from dwellings and structures, enabling residents to have their windows doors, etc. open without having smoke, fumes, gases, etc. entering their homes.

(g) the damage to structures, furnishings, etc. from smoke, sparks, fumes, gases, etc. emitted from these types of fires and their proximity to surrounding dwellings or structures.

(h) the requirement of the fire chief, code enforcement official or some other official to inspect open burn locations for compliance.

In my immediate case, I have propane tanks beside the burn areas within close range on grills that vent in hot weather and could cause an explosion. Combustive or explosive materials should never be permitted in or around a burn area.

All of you need to realize there is much more to this ordinance than “burn baby burn.” Don’t let a catastrophic event occur before you all make a decision.

Sincerely,

Tommy Wingard

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