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Open Burning Guidelines

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The Westland Fire Department has created open burning guidelines that are in accordance with the International Fire Code, as well as the National Fire Protection Association.  These rules are in place to keep our residents and their property safe.  Any variations from these rules must be approved by the Westland Fire Department.

Some Common Questions Residents Have:

What is “open burning”?
Open burning is defined as, “the burning of unwanted materials such as paper, trees, brush, leaves, grass, and other debris where smoke and other emissions are released directly into the air.”  During open burning, air pollutants do not pass through a chimney or stack.  Although defined as such, under no circumstances is any debris besides wood permitted. 

What can I open burn?
Only clean wood (lacking creosote or other chemicals) can be used as fuel.  That means no leaves or other unwanted combustibles.

What can I use to hold an open burn?
A fire pit.  The fire pit must be completely enclosed.  This can be achieved by using screening or other approved store bought containers.

Where can I put my fire pit?
The open burn must be a minimum of 25 feet from any structure or property line.  The site must also be a minimum of 15 feet from any other combustible materials such as tall vegetation or wood piles

How big of a fire can I have?
The fire should be no larger than 3 feet wide by 3 feet tall.

Do I need a fire extinguisher on hand?
Some form of extinguishment must be on-hand.  Examples would be dirt, sand, a garden hose, or a fire extinguisher.

What if there is a lot of smoke?
If smoke from the fire becomes a nuisance to others, extinguishment is required. 

Do I have to be around the fire when it is going?
Constant supervision is required during all burning.  Complete extinguishment is required before leaving the fire pit.

Following these simple guidelines will ensure the safety of you, your family, and your neighbors.