An Ordinance Amending the Title 8 (Health and Safety), Chapter 8.43 (Open Burning Prohibited) of the Hood River Municipal Code to clarify the exceptions to the open burning prohibitions in Section 8.43.010, and related minor revisions.

 The Hood River City Council finds as follows:

 WHEREAS, given the extreme fire hazard conditions the region has experienced in the past many summers, the issue of allowable open burning has become an important question; and

 WHEREAS, the City provides strict restrictions on open burning in Chapter 8.43 of the Hood River Municipal Code (Open Burning Prohibited), but the exceptions provided to the general prohibition to open burning are not as clear as they should be; and

 WHEREAS, the City Fire Chief recommended clarifying revisions to Section 8.43.010 to make more clear what exceptions to the general open burning prohibition are allowed and under what circumstances; and

 WHEREAS, the City Council duly noticed and conducted a public hearing on September 14, 2015 to review the Fire Chief’s recommendations, attached as Exhibit A and incorporated herein by this reference, and accepted oral and written testimony from the public.

 NOW THEREFORE, based on the foregoing Findings, the City Council for the City of Hood River Ordains that Title 8 (Health and Safety), Chapter 8.43 (Open Burning Prohibited), Sections 8.43.010 (Open Burning Prohibited), 8.43.012 (Costs of Suppressing Fires), 8.43.013 (Permit Required) and 8.43.015 (Vegetative Debris Burning) of the Hood River Municipal Code are hereby amended to provide as follows:


8.43.010 Open burning prohibited - Exceptions
8.43.012 Costs of Suppressing Fires
8.43.013 Permit Required
8.43.015 Vegetative Debris Burning
8.43.017 Discontinuance
8.43.020 Use of woodstoves restricted
8.43.030 Fire department practice burns permitted   Conditions
8.43.040 Violation – Penalties – Summary abatement

8.43.010  Open burning prohibited - Exceptions. Open burning, including the use of burn barrels, is prohibited within the City.  The following exceptions to this prohibition apply:

A. Vegetative debris burning as outlined in Section 8.43.015;
B. Orchard heating practices, approved by the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), to protect against frost damage to crops;
C. Open fires used exclusively for cooking and have been approved by the Fire Department. Approval shall be evidenced by a permit issued by the Fire Department.
D. Fires located in fire pits associated with approved and supervised campsites;
E. Outdoor (hearth) fireplaces and chimneys (chimney patio fireplaces) with spark arrestors or other approved means to stop embers (i.e. screens on chimney, etc);
F. Propane, natural gas, or briquette barbeques that meet applicable federal, state, and local requirements.

Exceptions A – C apply only when Hood River County is not in a burn ban. Exceptions D – F apply throughout the year.

8.43.012  Costs of Suppressing Fires.  If a fire department response is required to suppress an uncontrolled fire and the Fire Department determines that the fire was caused or started by one of the exceptions listed in 8.43.010 A through F, the property owner may be responsible to reimburse the City for those costs associated with the suppression efforts.

8.43.013 Permit Required.   A permit shall be obtained from the Fire Department prior to igniting a burn pile or using a cooking fire. Any fire or police personnel (i.e., City, county, etc.) may revoke a permit obtained under this section at any time for any reason.

8.43.015 Vegetative Debris Burning.   Vegetative debris includes limbs, twigs, and cut trees and shrubbery. No uncut vegetation shall be burned. Burning of materials other than vegetation (i.e. tires, paper, furniture, etc.) is prohibited and is subject to a fine.   A person may burn vegetative debris in a burn pile only under all of the following conditions:

A. The person first obtains a permit from the fire department;
B. The City fire department shall be contacted prior to igniting the burn pile;
C. All applicable U.S. Forest Service and Oregon Department of Forestry regulations on opening burning shall apply;

8.43.017   Discontinuance    Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in this chapter or code, the fire department may prohibit all open burning within the City and cause the immediate cessation of all open burning if the fire department determines, in its sole discretion, that smoke emissions may be offensive to occupants of surrounding properties or that open burning may be a hazardous condition.

8.43.020  Use of woodstoves restricted. The burning of any materials other than wood in woodstoves, fireplaces, outdoor (hearth) fireplaces, or chimneys is prohibited, except paper may be used as a starting agent. (Ord. 1652 (part), 1992).

8.43.030  Fire department practice burns permitted   Conditions. The fire department may maintain practice burns provided that the property owner provides proof of insurance satisfactory to the city manager; agrees to indemnify and hold the fire department and the city harmless for any damages caused by the fire; and certifies that no hazardous substances are located on the real property or contained in the structure to be burned.  (Ord. 1652 (part), 1992).

8.43.040  Violation – Penalties   Summary abatement.   Violation of this chapter shall be considered an infraction violation and shall be punishable by a fine of not less than twenty five dollars for the first violation; fifty dollars for the second violation and two hundred fifty dollars for each subsequent violation set by City Council Resolution. Any act prohibited by this chapter shall be considered a nuisance subject to immediate and summary abatement by fire or police personnel.  Costs of abatement shall be assessed against any person who violates the provisions of this chapter and shall be imposed in addition to any fine.  (Ord. 1652 (part), 1992).
 Read for the First Time this __________ day of ______________ 2016.

      Paul Blackburn, Mayor

 Read for the Second Time and approved this ____ day of _________ 2016.  This Ordinance shall take effect on the 31st day following the second reading.

      Paul Blackburn, Mayor


Jennifer Gray, City Recorder Approved as to form:

Daniel Kearns, City Attorney