Permits for Open Burning

Open burning is allowed in the City of Paragould, but each person shall be required to obtain a permit prior to starting a fire. The permit shall be an annual permit and will be good from January 1 – December 31st of the calendar year unless the permit is revoked prior to the end of the year. Permits may be obtained in person from the central fire station or an online form may be completed from the City of Paragould website. The applicant shall read and agree to all regulations as listed below and the applicant will sign the form to be kept on file at the fire department. The permit holder will then be charged with keeping a record of their permit in case an issue ever arises. Any individual or entity wanting to burn natural vegetation for commercial purposes, i.e. clearing land for a subdivision or other purpose shall be required to obtain a permit each day of burning and the permit will expire at sunset of that day. An officer with the Paragould Fire Department will also have to visually inspect the pile before the fire can be started.

The following shall be adhered to at all times:

(a)Unless otherwise provided for herein, a burn permit is required prior to the ignition or kindling of any fire or open burning. The person desiring to start such a fire must obtain a permit by either calling the Paragould Fire Department at 870-239-7525 or filling out an online application. There will be no fee for the permit, and the permit shall be renewed annually by the same process listed above. The Paragould Fire Department shall keep a log of each permit issued. The person lighting, burning or maintaining the fire shall be responsible for keeping record of their permit and shall provide proof of their permit if requested, to the Paragould Fire Department, the Paragould Police Department or Paragould Code Enforcement Office upon request. The individual property owner or occupant obtaining the burning permit shall be subject to the following:

(1) Burning shall not occur on days in which the wind exceeds 13 mph according to either KAIT news, PFD website, or The Weather Channel; or when a burn ban is in effect.

(2) Burning shall not take place under electrical, telephone or television cable lines.

(3) The location for an open burning fire shall not be less than 50 feet from any structure. Provision shall be made to control the fire to prevent it from spreading within 50 feet of any structure. However, an open fire may be maintained a minimum of 25 feet from a structure if the pile size is three feet or less in diameter and two feet or less in height.

(4) Fires may be maintained in containers approved by the Paragould Fire Department that are not less than 15 feet from a structure.

(5) Ceremonial or special occasion fires must be no larger than five feet by five feet by five feet.

(6) Fires may only occur between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and sunset. All outdoor fires must be extinguished by sunset unless otherwise provided for by permit or contained in an approved manufactured fire pit.

(7) The fire must be attended at all times until it is fully and completely extinguished.

(8) A rake, water hose, and/or a portable fire extinguisher with a minimum of a 4A rating or other fire extinguishing equipment must be in working order and maintained within a reasonable distance from the fire for immediate use.

(9) Only approved materials (wood-based products that are not treated and yard debris) will be allowed to be burned. Furniture items, garbage, metals, plastic, rubber, tires, shingles, treated lumber or petroleum-based products of any kind shall not be burned under any circumstances.

(10) Any fire that causes heavy smoke, odor or hazardous conditions or one that generates any complaints from the public may be required to be extinguished immediately.

(b)Persons possessing a building permit may, at the construction site, allow workers to maintain an open fire inside a metal drum for heating purposes only. Such a fire shall be built using waste lumber only. The fire will be subject to the guidelines stated in paragraph (a).

(c)Any person maintaining a fire, whether authorized by permit or not, shall extinguish the fire immediately if directed to do so by either an officer with the Paragould Fire Department, Paragould Police Department or a Paragould Code Enforcement Officer.

(d)Corrective actions. If the owner or occupant shall neglect or refuse to immediately extinguish the fire, the fire department, police department or code enforcement officer, or other city employee acting under the direction of the fire department, police department or code enforcement office is authorized to do whatever is necessary to correct the condition and to charge the cost thereof to the owner or occupant for the cost of so doing.

(e)Permits are valid only for one year unless revoked before then, and must be reapplied for each year. Permits are not transferable to other properties, addresses or persons. Commercial permits are good only until sunset of the date of issue.

(f)Permits shall not be required for wood or charcoal fires in outdoor fireplaces or used for cooking of food in an appropriate fire pit or grill.

(g)Penalty provisions. The fire department, police department or code enforcement officer may issue a citation to a person in violation of this section which shall be a misdemeanor and/or revoke burning privileges. Fines for violation of this section shall be assessed in accordance with section 1-10 of the Paragould Code.