Fire department officials remind residents of open burning rules

Spring and warmer weather seems to have arrived, so the North Liberty Fire Department would like to remind North Liberty residents of the city’s open burn policy. 

Open burning is prohibited throughout the entire city.  The burning of yard waste, household items and burn barrels are prohibited. 

Additionally, due to the close proximity of factory-built homes in Holiday Lodge and Golfview, no open fires — including recreational fire pits — or burning is permitted at any time or place within these parks.  Charcoal in a charcoal broiler or grill for the purpose of cooking food is allowed, provided there is adequate supervision.

 With exception to Holiday Lodge and Golfview Mobile Parks, recreational fires and fire pits are authorized if the open burning is conducted in the following safe manner:

  • Portable fire pits and portable fireplaces shall not be located less than 15 feet away from any structures or combustible materials or on any paved or surfaced street, alley or sidewalk.
  • Portable fire pits and portable fireplaces must have a screen and a cover to prevent flying embers.
  • The pile size of the dry seasoned natural firewood or commercial logs cannot exceed 3 feet in diameter and 2 feet in height.
  • Portable fire pits and portable fireplaces shall be used in accordance with the manufacturer’s specifications and these regulations.
  • Such fires shall be constantly attended and supervised by a person 18 years or older until the fire has been completely extinguished.  A portable fire extinguisher with a minimum 4-A rating or garden hose must be readily available.
  • Only dry seasoned natural firewood or commercial logs may be burned.  Burning of rubber tires, lumber, pallets, scrap wood, green wood, tree trimmings with leaves, leaves, yard waste, paper, cardboard, garbage and other refuse is not permitted.
  • All open fires shall be performed in an approved container constructed of steel, brick or masonry or in below ground fire pits.
  • Below-ground fire pits shall be at least 4 inches in depth and shall be surrounded on the outside, above ground, by a noncombustible material such as steel, brick, or masonry.  Below ground fire pits shall have a cover to prevent flying embers.  Below ground fire pits shall not be located less than 25 feet away from any structures or combustible materials.
  • No person shall burn any trash, leaves, rubbish, or other combustible material in any curb and gutter or on any paved or surfaced street or alley.

Ceremonial fires and Native Prairie Burns may be allowed by permit only.

Johnson County residents outside the city limits of North Liberty are allowed to conduct open burning as long as residents follow Iowa DNR guidelines and State of Iowa Administrative Code Chapter 23, 567-23.2(455B) Open Burning.   State rules prohibit burning items that can be locally recycled.   Common household trash such as synthetics, plastics, metals, and packaging release potent chemicals when burned.  Even common paper products such as junk mail, cardboard, newsprint, and magazines contain chemical dyes, coatings, pigments and chlorine.

Johnson County residents shall contact the Johnson County Joint Communication Center at 319-356-6800 prior to conducting controlled burns.  Open burning is only allowed from sunrise to sunset.