Cape, Jackson, Scott City spell out rules for fall burning

Wednesday, October 6, 2004

Now that leaves are beginning to fall, some homeowners are thinking about raking and burning them. Fire departments from Cape Girardeau, Jackson and Scott City have regulations about burning leaves and other yard waste.

Cape Girardeau fire Capt. Sam Welker advises that yard waste may be burned only on the homeowner's property, not in the street. Welker said that fires should not be built under power, telephone or cable lines, or within 50 feet of any structure.

Items that cannot be burned include building materials, tires, rubber products, asbestos-containing material, hazardous materials, Styrofoam, plastics, petroleum-based products, treated wood and other refuse.

All fires must be extinguished no later than 4 p.m., and burning is prohibited on windy days.

"If a complaint is called in or received by the fire department because of heavy smoke or odor," Welker said, "the fire will be required to be extinguished immediately."

Piles of yard waste up to 5 feet tall, 5 feet wide and 5 feet deep can be burned without a permit. Anything larger up to 10 feet deep, 10 feet wide and 5 feet tall will require a burn permit.

In Jackson, residents can burn only what grows on the property -- tree limbs, leaves and grass, according to Capt. Randy Davis. Anything hauled in to the property cannot be burned.

Jackson residents are required to get a burn permit, Davis said. The fire department decides on a case-by-case basis how far away from buildings, fences and utility poles a fire can be and whether it's too windy to burn on any given day. Piles of yard waste can be no more than 500 cubic feet, Jackson said, but one pile could be divided into two or more smaller ones if there is enough room to burn them.

"It's really up to us how big the pile is," Davis said.

Scott City residents are also limited to burning only what originates on the property and in piles no larger than 5 feet by 5 feet, said fire chief Jay Cassout. Residents may not burn on the street, near a utility pole or under power lines.

Residents there can get a burn permit either by calling the fire department or, if no one is available, by calling the police department. Permits in Scott City are verbal, Cassout said.

So far, all three communities continue to allow burning despite dry conditions.

"We have not issued any no-burn orders yet, but if we don't get some rain soon we probably will," Cassout said. "We're just asking people to be extremely careful. With no rain and low humidity, it could be dangerous."

335-6611, extension 160

Cape Girardeau

* Burn hours: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Size: Piles must be no larger than 5 feet tall by 5 feet wide by 5 feet deep.

Restrictions: No building materials may be burned.


* Burn hours: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Size: No piles bigger than 500 cubic feet.

Restrictions: Burn only what grows on the property.

Scott City

* Burn hours: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Size: Limited to 5 feet by 5 feet.

Restrictions: Burn only what grows on the property.

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