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Old 03-15-2005, 02:53 PM   #1
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Having a Bonfire?

Living on 3/4 acre in the country, I enjoy having a bonfire on occasion with family, friends and co-workers. You know, typical weekend get-together with adult beverages, food and music. I learned recently that the EPA passed a new law in Ohio that states that a "bonfire" cannot be any larger than 2 feet by 2 feet and burned only between the hours of 6 am and 6 pm. I couldn't find anything on the EPA website to confirm that but I did get the information from my dad who is a Columbus firefighter. It's not like I burn a huge pile of tractor tires or anything, just dead wood found on the property. Does anyone know anything about this (Sierra, you out there?) Bonfires are pretty common in the country, if anything, just to get rid of extra wood. We've had problems with the EPA at the golf course I work at as we routinely burn large piles of wood from storm damage and have been harrassed by the EPA. For the most part, I think the EPA is a good organization but there are also many things they do that are just plain dumb.

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Old 03-15-2005, 03:27 PM   #2
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Two feet square is not what I consider a bonfire I would ask your father where he found that specific information from the EPA. Also, legally speaking, you should obtain a permit to have a bonfire so the fire department is aware and can react quickly should they need to. Hopefully you have a fire hydrant near your house. When we had bonfires, we would make sure our hose was hooked up just in case it got out of hand.
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Old 03-15-2005, 04:18 PM   #3
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The local firehouse no longer has anything to do with bonfires, they just refer me to the nearest EPA branch. Also, the closest fire hydrant is 4 miles away but I do have a hose at the ready just in case. I'll have to do a bit more research, I suppose.
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Old 03-15-2005, 05:04 PM   #4
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DC what a bummer, the best fun of a bondfire is after dark, no fun in broad daylight. Maybe you misunderstood.
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Old 03-15-2005, 05:04 PM   #5
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Build a really big charcoal pit for the purpose of cooking - kinda like bonfire size - would that be the same as a bonfire? I know I'm reaching but I'm trying to find a way around this lol
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Old 03-15-2005, 05:29 PM   #6
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There was a misunderstanding! According to my dad and the station Captain, a bonfire can be unlimited in size ONLY if all the fuel (wood) is gathered from the property. There is also no time limit on the fire. I'm still not sure why the EPA would be concerned with gathering wood from adjacent properties, besides trespassing and what-not but even then, where would the EPA have jurisdiction? :? Anywho, at least that issue was cleared up! :D
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Old 03-15-2005, 05:40 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DampCharcoal
There was a misunderstanding! According to my dad and the station Captain, a bonfire can be unlimited in size ONLY if all the fuel (wood) is gathered from the property. There is also no time limit on the fire. I'm still not sure why the EPA would be concerned with gathering wood from adjacent properties, besides trespassing and what-not but even then, where would the EPA have jurisdiction? :? Anywho, at least that issue was cleared up! :D
DC, I guess a word to the wise would be if you trespass to 'borrow' the wood, invite the borrowee to join you for the festivities.
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Old 03-15-2005, 06:47 PM   #8
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LOL! Can't argue with that logic, Norge!
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Old 03-15-2005, 09:00 PM   #9
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Oooooooooh I LOVE bonfires. We have them nearly every weekend weather permitting spring-fall. Fire Dept here says it can only be 2 by 2 in an appropriate container.. .We use a steel barrel drum. No burning of deasoned wood etc. Only thing is we have to get a fire permit everytime we have one. No biggie go on Friday the permit's good the whole weekend.
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Old 03-15-2005, 09:02 PM   #10
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I love bonfires too. As kids we would make HUGE ones and try to outlast all the other bonfires on the beach (we won 90% of the time). Best part was giving it a little blow in the morning and watching it catch on fire again.
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