Neighbor burning leaves and grass

PaulOinMA

Minister of Fire
Oct 20, 2018
621
MA
I've been watching my neighbor across the street raking piles of leaves and thatch in her lawn into circles all day and lighting them on fire.

Burn season in town is to April 1. A $10 permit is required, and you have to call the FD to let them know you are burning that day. Brush burning is allowed. Leaves and grass are a no-no, probably for the very reason of what I see going on across the street. :)

I've been thinking of the folks on here that live in areas that have issued with wood burning fireplaces and the like for air quality as I see the smoke in her yard.

Pretty sure she does not have a permit. She probably doesn't know she needs one. Not going to say anything. Just keep an eye on her to make sure things stay in control. We're in a residential area of a town (1,700 people/sq. mi.)

I grew up on a wooded lot in CT in the 1960s, and we would burn our leaves. Dad lit the woods on fire once. I sort of like the smell. Takes me back. (Thought of the chimney height thread from a member on here in RI. The folks in the apartment near him would be going nutso if they saw what I'm seeing. :) )

She getting closer to the tree line between her and her neighbor. Thick bed of pine needles in the area between the properties. She and her younger son start picking up piles of pine needles and throwing them on the fire.

O.k., now I need to say something. :)

I walk across the street and ask if she has a permit. As expected, she didn't know. Deer-in-the-headlights look. I mention that a FD permit is required, and the burn season goes to April 1. Can only burn to 4 PM, too. She stopped burning.
 

Seasoned Oak

Minister of Fire
Oct 17, 2008
7,048
Eastern Central PA
I wait until after a rain to burn ,more smokey but the neighbors wont get freaked out that im going to burn the adjacent mountain and woods including their houses down. No permit needed.
 

Seasoned Oak

Minister of Fire
Oct 17, 2008
7,048
Eastern Central PA
That close to neighbors she is better off composting the stuff. Safer too.
 
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AlbergSteve

Minister of Fire
Dec 11, 2017
840
n
Got a neighbour doing the same thing, couldn't even be in the yard while he was burning all day. Would love to see the municipality ban open burning -- you'd think we were still living in caves and needed the heat.
 

PaulOinMA

Minister of Fire
Oct 20, 2018
621
MA
… I beg to differ burning releases nutrient to the soil …
I have a house in Corolla, NC. Currituck county does controlled burns. Sure is smokey. :)


Dare county is just to the south, and they do burns, too. Lots of pictures on the internet.
 

woodnomore

Member
Oct 3, 2019
218
Central MN
Yep I worked wild land fire for 20 years, would on occasion work on prescribed fires. Even areas that had wildfires they would green up much faster than surrounding areas.
 
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PaulOinMA

Minister of Fire
Oct 20, 2018
621
MA
Have you seen NOVA Inside the Megafire?


There was also a very good article in the NY Times Sunday magazine section several montha ago on the CA fires.
 

woodnomore

Member
Oct 3, 2019
218
Central MN
I spent 20 summers out west running hand crews, engine crews, etc. I have seen many a day when you could not catch a fire from behind and you sure as hell are not going to get in front of it. Once flame heights are over 11' there is nothing you can do even with a huge fire engine and air support.
 

AlbergSteve

Minister of Fire
Dec 11, 2017
840
n

kennyp2339

Minister of Fire
Feb 16, 2014
4,883
07462
Coming from NJ here, we have well strict everything around here, but one thing has recently been loosened up, that is burning. As a homeowner all you need a an open burn permit for a firepit, you get this by calling the state forest fire office and they will dispatch a forestry firefighter to your house to inspect the firepit then issue a permit providing you safe and sane (at there discretion) and no burning for leaves or grass, but brush is fine, the permit is good for 30 days free of charge.
New from 4 years ago is private open burning, if you own acreage you can now do a prescribed burning providing you submit a burn plan to the state for review, it use to be the state would come to your property and do it for you under there training program (drill for the forestry folks) Study after study has been done and the state now see's the benefits of keeping areas burned and cleaned, reduce ticks / fleas, invasive plants destroyed, fire load reduced, habitat for small animals / birds maintained.
Fire is healthy when done properly, it is also a double edge sword and can easily become just as dangerous as anything else when done half @$#, I personally get burn permit after burn permit every year, I made great friends with the fire warden who just shows up at my place every 30 days to drop off an updated permit, the other thing, just like regular wood burning is to watch the smoke that's produced and keep the fire ripping & clean burning.
 
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SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
4,109
Downeast Maine
I hate the smell, but around here they controlled burn the blueberry fields and that creates better conditions for the blueberries. Our property has a fair amount of blueberries and someone suggested I burn my yard to have a stronger yeild.
 

PaulOinMA

Minister of Fire
Oct 20, 2018
621
MA
… blueberries …
I worked at Colgate in the 1990s. A colleague was Per Stensby at Ciba Specialty Chemicals in NC. He came to a meeting, and his hands were purple. I asked and was told that he has a blueberry farm in Maine and it's harvest season. :)
 

Grizzerbear

Minister of Fire
Feb 12, 2019
575
SW Missoura
Their are lots of controlled burns here as well. Most of them done by our conservation department. I'm no scientist but I can see that if the woods are burned off every year they are a hell of a lot safer and less destructive if a fire is ever unintentionally started. It's when they go years and years without burning and then you have that record dry year. Obviously burning the leaves on the forest floor releases the nutrients to the soil faster than it having to slowly decompose. It also promotes new growth when the forest floor is allowed the sunlight that was restricted by heavy leaf litter.
 
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PaulOinMA

Minister of Fire
Oct 20, 2018
621
MA
That was a point made by NOVA, link above. Lightning strikes and natural burns have always been a part of nature. The rush to extinguish lightning-strike fires in wooded areas that are now developed with homes created a situation for mega-fires.
 
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Bad LP

Minister of Fire
Nov 28, 2014
1,139
Northern Maine
I hate the smell, but around here they controlled burn the blueberry fields and that creates better conditions for the blueberries. Our property has a fair amount of blueberries and someone suggested I burn my yard to have a stronger yeild.
Bears like berries. I hope you like bears. LOL.

I drive past a small blueberry farm, well it was until they started growing hemp. One night I was passing thru and the woods were fully involved. Seems the field burn got a little out of hand.
 
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SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
4,109
Downeast Maine
Bears like berries. I hope you like bears. LOL.

I drive past a small blueberry farm, well it was until they started growing hemp. One night I was passing thru and the woods were fully involved. Seems the field burn got a little out of hand.
A bear will probably feed us for a year, so I'm good with that.
 

woodnomore

Member
Oct 3, 2019
218
Central MN
In Minnesota you can have a 36" x 36" fire without a permit unless you live in some commie suburb. Can go to town and get a permit for a bigger fire but they do shut down permits when the weather gets dry.
 
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