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Posted on: March 6, 2019

Changes to City Burning Ordinance Approved

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The La Vergne Fire Rescue Department is happy to announce that the proposed changes introduced by LFRD to the City Burning Ordinance have been approved by the Board of Mayor and Alderman as of March 5th, 2019.

The major changes are to assist the Citizens by not mandating burning permits be obtained for small wood waste fires anymore. This will aid our Citizens by not having to drive to the Fire Administration office, easier planning for open burning, and more specific rules and regulations to provide a safer atmosphere for burning within the City. Additional changes speak on commercial burning for large fires and provide more stringent rules be in place for safer burning.

Please see the following new ordinance below. LFRD encourages everyone that wishes to burn read the new ordinance in full to ensure they are in compliance. We also ask that you spread the good news to other Citizens as well. In short, subsections A, C, and D no longer require permits providing all other rules are followed. If you have any questions, please contact the Fire Marshal’s Office at 615-287-5832.


7-221.          Open Burning.

(1)          No person shall cause, suffer, allow, or permit open burning within the entire city limits of La Vergne except as set out in subsection (2).

(2)          Exceptions:

(a)          Non –commercial fires used for cooking of food including barbeques and outdoor fireplaces;

(b)          Commercial incinerators;

(c)          Commercial barbeque fireplaces;

(d)          Non-commercial fires used for disposal of wood waste, ceremonial or recreation purposes including cookouts. Non-commercial fires other than bonfires shall not exceed more than three (3) feet in diameter and two (2) feet in height and be a minimum of 25 feet away from any other combustible material. 

(e) Bonfires shall not exceed five feet in diameter and four feet in height and must be a minimum of 50 away from any other combustible material. 

(f)           Fires set by or at the direction of responsible fire control persons for training purposes or directed at the prevention, elimination, or reduction of fire hazards.

(g)          Routine demolition of structures via supervised open burning by responsible fire control persons will not be considered fire training or elimination of a fire hazards. Demolition of structures may be conducted by open burning provided that there is unilaterally issued state or local building codes order to demolish the structure by open burning because of its structural failure or potential for structural failure. Such orders will be recognized only where there is no other safe way to demolish the structure.

(h)          Fires used to clear land consisting solely of vegetation grown on that land for forest or game management purposes.

(i)           Smokeless flares or safety flares for the combustion of waste gases;

(j)           The fire chief or his designee or fire official have the authority to allow open burning where there is no other practical, safe, and/or lawful method of disposal.

(k)          Fires set at the direction of law enforcement agencies or courts for the purpose of destruction of controlled substances and legend drugs seized as contraband. This does not include antineoplastic agents.

(l)           Disposal of “wood waste” as defined in § 7-201. Priming materials used to facilitate such burning as wood waste and vegetation are limited to #1 or #2 grade fuel oil. Burning of wood waste shall require an “air curtain destructor” or other approved device.  Debris pit with debris to be burned shall not exceed the height of the pit wall, must be no less than 200 feet away from any other combustible materials including structures and forest lines and an onsite inspection conducted by the fire chief, his designee, or the fire official is required. Any burn pile exceeding the size described in subsection (d) of this ordinance will be considered a commercial burn.

(m)         Exceptions (a), (c), and (d) above are allowed with no permit requirements but shall adhere to the following:

        (i)           Piles shall not exceed the size of three feet in diameter and two feet in height.

        (ii)          Only non- treated wood waste no larger than three inches in diameter not foreign to the burning site shall be burned.

        (iii)         Burning will not be allowed when wind velocity is over 10 miles per hour.

        (iv)         A responsible adult shall attend the fire at all times.

        (v)          Fire shall be completely out before the fire site is left alone.

        (vi)         Means of extinguishment shall be provided at all times. Extinguishment method must be suitable for the fire load and size to completely extinguish the fire.

        (vii)        At no point shall the fire become a nuisance to others by smoke, ash, or other debris traveling to a neighboring area.

        (viii)       Any violation of the above rules and regulations will be viewed as reckless burning and can result in immediate extinguishment of the fire by either the fire department for safety reasons or the responsible party. Violations of the above rules could result in fines and penalties.

(m)        The fire chief or his designee or fire official shall have the authority to permit or prohibit open burning not specifically addressed herein.

(n) Open burning allowed under the above provisions, shall meet the requirements of the fire code; and be permitted under the conditions approved by the fire department, unless otherwise stated.

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