Burning Ban now in Effect

MARTINSVILLE, Va. – The Martinsville Fire Marshal’s Office reminds residents that a statewide burning ban is now in effect, beginning Sunday, February 15, 2009. The regulations governing burning in the City of Martinsville differ somewhat from those in Henry County and other parts of the state.

Some key provisions of the ordinance are as follows:

• Only paper, cardboard, leaves and tree, yard and garden trimmings located on your private residence may be burned and must take place on this same property. The Fire Marshal’s Office must be contacted if any other types of materials are to be burned. If this is the case, the fire marshal or fire department staff will need to personally inspect the materials to be burned and give approval prior to burning. Depending on the size and/or type of material to be burned, a special permit may be required.

• All material must be contained within a non-combustible box or cage, or all items must be in a pile less than five feet in diameter, less than three feet in height, and at least fifty feet from any occupied building. Any items other than leaves shall be at least 300 feet from any occupied building unless the occupant of the building has given prior permission for burning closer.

• All open burning within the City of Martinsville must be done between the hours of 4:00 P.M. AND 8:00 P.M during this burning ban which ends April 30, 2009.

• All outdoors fires shall be attended at all times and not allowed to spread or jeopardize any other property.

• A form of fire suppression equipment (a working garden hose) should be immediately available at all times of the burn.

• At any point the fire is deemed dangerous or is causing a safety or health hazard to anyone, the fire shall be suppressed.

We are currently experiencing a drier and warmer than normal winter. Even with a substantial rain or snow shower, the undergrowth, base coat of leaves and dead or dormant vegetation are highly combustible. Also, anyone who decides to disregard the warnings and continues with their outdoor burning can be civilly responsible for any damages caused by their burning activity.
According to Martinsville Fire Marshal Ted Anderson, violation of the burning ban in the City of Martinsville constitutes a class 1 misdemeanor, which is punishable with up to 12 months in jail and/or a $2500 fine.
For more information, contact Fire Marshal Ted Anderson at (276) 403-5202 during normal business hours.

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