Regulations that allow burning inside the city of Leavenworth could change.

Regulations that allow burning inside the city of Leavenworth could change.

As part of an update of city fire codes, Leavenworth Fire Chief Gary Birch is recommending amending the city’s open burning regulation.

Currently, people can burn tree branches and brush piles on their properties if they obtain permits through the Leavenworth Fire Department. And people can burn in screen-covered barrels without obtaining permits.

Birch said allowing people to burn in barrels inside a city is “really kind of unheard of” today.

Leavenworth Fire Department officials are recommending that almost no burning be allowed within limits. There would be some exceptions.

“Basically it’s a burn ban,” Birch said.

If the changes are approved, people still could obtain burn permits for bonfires.

Permits also would be issued for what Birch called prescribed burns. He said burning off an area of prairie grass would be an example of a prescribed burn.

Birch said burn permits also could be obtained for the use of open pit air destructors, which he described as a method used by commercial contractors.

Under the proposed changes, people could use portable outdoor fireplaces, such as chimineas, without obtaining permits. People also could set up camp fires without permits, but the city would establish safety requirements.

Birch said people also would be able to use barbecue grills.

While burning may be more restricted in the future, Birch noted that residents would still have the option of bundling tree branches to be picked up as part of the city’s trash collection service. He said residents also can utilize the city’s Brush Site.

Birch reviewed the proposed fire code changes Tuesday with city commissioners. The matter was discussed during a work session and no action was taken.

Changes to the fire codes would be enacted through an ordinance.

City Clerk Carla Williamson suggested ordinances for changing fire codes and other city codes may not be ready for consideration by the City Commission until late January or early February.

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