Hornell Fire Chief: Spring Statement About Recreational Fires

April 29, 2022

With the arrival of warmer weather and the availability of outdoor fireplaces, more and more residents are spending time in their backyard around a campfire or barbeque.

It is important to remember that although the City of Hornell does allow recreational fires, there are regulations; to ensure public safety and that the fire or smoke does not become offensive to other residents of the neighborhood. We live in this community together and need to respect all of our neighbors, please understand that there are people who have medical conditions such as asthma and respiratory conditions that can be harsh on them so they cannot enjoy their summer.

Guidelines regarding recreational fires within the City limits are as follows:


 The fire must be contained in a chiminea-type fireplace or fire pit with a spark arresting cover. No homemade pit it must be safe containment encloser.
 No fire shall be more than 2 feet in height
 The fire must be a minimum of 15 feet away from any combustible fence or structure.
 Fires must consist of either charcoal or untreated, seasoned, dry, wood (wet wood, fresh cut wood, painted or stained wood creates smoky conditions and should not be used.)
 There is absolutely no burning of garbage, paper, trash, yard waste, or construction debris.
 There must be a means of extinguishment readily available such as a garden hose, 4A rated fire extinguisher, or pile of dirt or sand with a shovel.
 The Fire must be constantly attended by competent adult supervision until fire is extinguished.
 If the fire becomes offensive or objectionable to the neighbors due to smoke, odor, health concerns, or a hazardous condition, we will ask you to extinguish the fire.

The Fire Department is called often to check on outdoor fires by neighbors who are bothered by the smoke or odor from the fire. Even if all the other conditions above are met; if the smoke is bothering another resident we are going to ask for the fire to be extinguished.

Thank you
Frank Brzozowski
Fire Chief, City of Hornell