PENNSYLVANIA, USA — At least three central Pennsylvania counties have enacted temporary bans on open burning, and municipalities and townships in neighboring counties are enacting bans of their own due to dry weather conditions and the inherent risk of wildfires.
Open burning is defined as "the ignition and subsequent burning of any combustible material (garbage, litter, paper, grass, leaves, twigs, vegetative material associated with land clearing or any other debris) out-of-doors, either in a burn barrel (screened or unscreened) or on the ground," the commissioners' announcement said.
The use of propane or gas stoves, charcoal grills or tobacco in any form is not covered by the ban, the commissioners said.
Campfires set in fire rings at designated campsites in state or federal parks or campgrounds licensed by the Department of Environmental Protection are also allowed under the ban, according to the commissioners.
The ban will be enforced by any sworn law enforcement agent, including State Police, in the affected counties.
Anyone who violates the ban could be subject to a fine of $100 for a first offense, $200 for a second offense and $300 for a third or any subsequent offenses.
Here are some of the counties, townships and municipalities in central Pa. that have enacted temporary burn bans.
Effective June 8, all outdoor burning throughout all of Middlesex Township has been temporarily banned, by order of the township's supervisors under the advisement of its fire chief.
The burn ban will last until further notice, the township's supervisors said in a press release.
Due to recent dry conditions and with increase of a potential fire, The Shippensburg Borough is asking residents to not to have open fires. The Borough Fire Chief is not going to issue any burn permits until conditions improve.
The use of recreational fires is prohibited until conditions improve. Outdoor cooking on a grill or other covered device is acceptable.
With air quality in Code Red and the dry spell, Steelton Borough is reminding residents that open fires, including fire pits, are not prohibited in the borough. With the current weather conditions, open fires can lead to dangerous and unsafe circumstances.
In regards to the dry spell, the borough is asking residents to be mindful of cooking outdoors and discarding products that involve fire, such as cigarettes.
Southampton Township supervisors announced a temporary burn ban on Wednesday, effective immediately. Officials are concerned about the risk of fire spreading because of the extended dry conditions.
Residents of the township are barred from any type of open burning. Outdoor cooking on a grill or other covered device is allowed.
The burn ban will be in effect until further notice, officials said.
The county's Board of Commissioners voted Wednesday to enact the first county-wide burn ban since 2012.
The 30-day ban goes into effect at 10 a.m. on Friday, June 9, the commissioners said.
First-time offenders will receive a warning and be forced to extinguish the fire. Subsequent offenses could result in fines, authorities said.
The county's Board of Commissioners voted Tuesday to enact a 30-day burn ban, effective at noon on June 8.
The York County Board of Commissioners voted Monday to enact a 30-day ban, which went into effect immediately.
The ban will last until July 5, the commissioners said.
Under the updated terms of the ban, which the York County Commissioners announced on Friday, June 9, the discharging of all fireworks are prohibited in York County, unless there is written authorization from the municipality having jurisdiction.
The updated ban was scheduled to go into effect on Monday, June 12, and continue for 30 days.