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3156 Burn Ban 2020-03-31

Resolution #3156



WHEREAS, The County Commissioners are desirous of providing for the health, safety, property, and welfare of the people of Warren County, and, on March 17th, 2020, declared an Emergency Disaster due to the COVID-19 pandemic; and


WHEREAS, on March 30, 2020, District Forester Cecile Stelter, representing the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, recommended the Commissioners issue a county-wide burn ban, pursuant to Pennsylvania Statute, Title 16, § 13201 (authorized under act 1995-52 of the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania); and


WHEREAS, brush fires use significant resources and many firefighters also serve in the emergency medical services, who are needed for prehospital care during the COVID-19 emergency and

the District Forester consulted with fire chiefs in Warren County, and more than a majority recommended the fire ban; and


WHEREAS, open burning is defined as the ignition and subsequent burning of any combustible material (e.g. garbage, leaves, grass, twigs, litter, paper, vegetative matter involved in land clearing, or any sort of debris) out-of-doors either in a burn barrel or on the ground; the use of propane or gas stoves, charcoal briquet grills, or the use of tobacco in any form is not covered; camp fires are allowed in fire rings that confine and contain the camp fire in designated state, federal, or other licensed campgrounds;


NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that open burning is hereby banned within the borders of Warren County, as defined above, effective on April 2, 2020 at 3:00pm through midnight, April 30, and may be extended for an additional 30 days, by resolution of the Commissioners upon the recommendation of the District Forester; and,


BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that this resolution will supersede any subordinate municipal ordinance to the contrary, and may be enforced, when available, by any sworn officers, including the municipal police departments, Pennsylvania State Police, Forest Fire Wardens, Game Wardens, Waterway Conservation Officers, Sheriff Deputies, and certified Constables; and


BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that such sworn officers shall charge any person who violates this act with a summary offense and shall, upon conviction, be sentenced to a fine of not more than $50.00 for the first offense, $200.00 for the second offense, and $350.00 for the third offense; and


BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, any violation that occurs in a municipality that has in effect an ordinance prohibiting open burning, the sworn officer may cite the violation under either the municipal ordinance or the county resolution but under no circumstances shall any person be cited for violations of both the county resolution and the municipal ordinance for the same violation; and


BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, this order will be posted on Warren County’s website, a press release will be sent to the newspaper of widest circulation, and any additional measures the Public Information Officer recommends.



Authorized this 31st day of March, 2020.




Benjamin Kafferlin


Tricia D. Durbin

Attest:                                                                  Vice Chair


Pamela J. Matve                                                    Jeff Eggleston

Chief Clerk                                                            Commissioner