Dry weather raises concerns of outdoor burning
submitted to the Source by City of Tonawanda Fire Chief Charles B.
Stuart and North Tonawanda
Fire Chief John Lapham:
Fire officials from both the Tonawanda and North Tonawanda Fire Departments are urging all residents to be extremely cautious and diligent with regard to cooking outdoors and, to refrain from using outdoor fireplaces for recreational burning. This is in response to the prolonged dry weather spell our area has been experiencing which has significantly increased the combustibility of brush and other vegetation throughout both cities.
The New York State Governorís Office has also issued a cautionary warning and has placed Western New York at a heightened danger level for wildfires. The office has also instituted a 90-day ban on all residential burning. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation will suspend all burning permits previously issued and enforce a no-burn rule for that same time period.
Fire Officials recommend when cooking with charcoal, residents should be extra careful when discarding the used coals and not to dump them anywhere that might cause them to ignite grass, brush or even a structure. Used coals should be completely extinguished with water before discarding them into a metal container.
Residents who plan on having a fire in a pit or fireplace in their backyard should think twice before doing so. Due to the overall dryness, just a spark from one of these fires could easily ignite nearby grass or brush. Fire officials warn that the close proximity of one home to the next in many of the older neighborhoods in both cities can result in an outside fire easily and rapidly spreading to adjacent structures such as houses and garages.
Residents should understand that due to this heightened fire risk, fire officials in both cities will enforce a strict ban on all recreational or open burning. Burning for the purpose of cooking will continue to be allowed, but only if itís being done in a safe manner.
Residents of North Tonawanda should note that the city has an ordinance prohibiting nuisance fires and or smoke. While Tonawanda does not have such an ordinance, the fire and police departments will enforce the State Fire Code as it pertains to open burning that causes an offensive or dangerous condition due to smoke and/or fire.