There have been questions regarding bonfires, campfires, chimeneas, and such. The borough has an ordinance regulating these. For more information, please see the document Borough Council has posted at http://www.elmerboroughnj.com/files/91206572.pdf.
The pertinent information reads:
A. Bonfires: Permit required:
A Type I Permit shall be obtained from the Bureau of Fire Prevention for a bonfire. An inspection for such bonfire must occur prior to the event. Bonfire Permit Conditions:
i) Bonfires shall be no larger than three feet (3’) by three feet (3’) and three feet (3’) in height, and consist of dry seasoned firewood ignited by kindling only.
ii) Burning of trash, rubbish, leaves and construction debris shall be prohibited.
iii) Flammable liquids or accelerants SHALL NOT BE USED to ignite said fires.
iv) Such fires shall be constantly attended by someone over the age of eighteen with the readily available means of extinguishment (fire extinguisher, garden hose).
v) The fire shall be extinguished completely before left unattended.
vi) No fire shall be burned or ignited when winds are in excess of 15 miles per hour (per National Weather Service) or otherwise prohibited by degree from the New Jersey Division of Forestry.
vii) Bonfires shall not be located closer than twenty feet (20’) from any building or structure and not within twenty feet (20’) of a property line.
viii) The smoke from the bonfire shall not create a nuisance.
B. Chimineas, Outdoor Fireplaces, Fire Pits and Fire Rings:
By definition, these devices are not considered open burning. Permits are not required to use these devices. The same rules that regulate bonfires shall apply, and shall not exceed three feet (3’) in length or circumference.
These devices should NOT be used:
(i) On a combustible deck or patio.
(ii) On balcony or breezeways of apartments of multi-family dwellings.
(iii) Shall have an enclosure, heavy screen or spark arrestor to control and contain embers and sparks.
(iv) Shall be used on a stable level surface
(v) If the fireplace is a propane unit, only propane shall be used.
(vi) Closer than fifteen feet (15’) to any building or structure, and not within fifteen feet (15’) of a property line.
(vii) Manufactured outdoor fireplaces and pits and rings shall operated in accordance with the manufacturers assembly, safety and operating instructions.
Enforcement. In the event that the Fire Department or Police Department is called due to a violation in the above Ordinance, then the Fire Office or Police Officer shall determine whether to extinguish the fire for safety concerns and either Officer shall have the authority to issue a written citation for the Ordinance violation.
Violations and Penalties. Any person, entity or corporation who or which violates any provision of this Article shall, upon conviction thereof, be punishable by one or more of the following:
(1) A fine of not less than $25.00 nor more than $2,000.00.
(2) A period of community service up to but not exceeding 30 days.
(3) Any combination of the above. Each day that a violation exists, occurs or continues shall constitute a separate offense for the purpose of imposing the penalties referred to above. Any person who is convicted of violating this Article within one year of the date of a previous violation of the same ordinance and who was fined for the previous violation, shall be sentenced by the Court to an additional fine as a repeat offender. The additional fine imposed by the Court upon a person for a repeated offense shall not be less than the minimum or exceed the maximum fine fixed for a violation of the ordinance, but shall be calculated separately from the fine imposed for the violation of the ordinance.