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Linglestown Gazette: BB AnswerLine: Backyard campfires allowed?

Sunday, June 15, 2008

BB AnswerLine: Backyard campfires allowed?

Question I was hoping to build a small, contained campfire in my backyard, but want to make sure this kind of burning is legal in Lower Paxton Twp. before doing so. Any help you could provide would be great. – Gazette reader Ray Adams

BB answer Ray, you are to be applauded for checking the township burning regulations before lighting up a fire to toast marshmallows and wieners. You’re one fine American.

I called the township office and ended up talking to the police department’s fire marshal. He said backyard campfires are allowed under the township's fire code. He gave me a few guidelines for campfires:

* The fire ring should not exceed 3-feet in diameter and should be located at least 25 feet from a structure.

* Garbage and yard waste may not be burned.

* The fire needs to be attended at all times.

* The campfire site needs to have equipment within easy reach for putting out the fire in case of an emergency – garden hose, fire extinguisher, bucket of water, etc.

* Residents who build campfires need to be courteous to neighbors – fires should be extinguished if smoke could bother a neighbor due to wind or other atmospheric conditions.

On a related note, the township’s fire code forbids the use of burn barrels for getting rid of garbage and burning yard-waste piles.

If you need more info, call the Lower Paxton Twp. police department at 657-5656 and ask for the fire marshal.

BB AnswerLine is a free service provided by Linglestown Gazette and its subsidiary Linglestown TV.

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At 4:52 PM, Anonymous bakabaka said...

Hmm... there are dozens of burn barrels sitting out in the township. Most I never see burning but a few seem to be going 24/7.

At 6:04 PM, Blogger BB said...

Well, call the police department's non-emergency number, 657-5656, and file a complaint when you see a burn barrel spewing smoke.

Based on my experience observing local governments, many neighborhood nuisance issues will not get attention until someone becomes a squeaky wheel.


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