City Burn Ordinance

In 1991 the City Council passed an amendment to the City code banning the practice of burning leaves.  This amendment eliminated all open burning in the City of Champaign.

Recreational fires are still permitted by the code, however, there are specific guidelines for these recreational fires.  The full code is available Sec. 15-20. -Burning prohibited; exceptions.  A few general guidelines regarding this amendment:

  • The fire shall be contained in a metal container not exceeding twenty (20) square feet in plane surface area and not elevated more than ten (10) inches above the grade level or on cleared earth in a pit enclosed on the sides by masonry or rock materials and not exceeding twenty (20) square feet in area.
  • All trees, fences, decks and other structures shall be at least ten (10) feet from the fire enclosure or pit.
  • Any fuel used shall be confined to logs or branches that are untreated or commercially available charcoal briquettes. No other fuels are permissible except a starter fuel designed for that purpose.
  • A responsible adult of at least eighteen (18) years of age shall be in attendance at all times that the fire is burning. When adult supervision ceases, the fire shall be extinguished with water and the coals spread out in the enclosure.
  • Campfires shall be extinguished if, in the opinion of a responding fire department employee, there is danger that smoke or fire will inflict injury upon someone or will cause damage to property.
  • The owner of the property upon which the fire is burning shall have consented to such fire.

A letter from the Fire Chief Gary Ludwig regarding recreational fires.

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