Spring cleaning for some means burning off yard waste or agricultural debris, but state regulations limit what can be burned and where, and some municipalities prohibit such open burning altogether, Waterville Fire Chief Steven Parsons told city council last week.
Open burning is illegal within Waterville, he said, and in Waterville Township outdoor fires must be at least 1,000 feet away from the closest inhabited building.
“We’ve looked the other way in the past” when it comes to outdoor cooking fires, as long as they’re enclosed in a fire ring, the chief said. “But if I show up and it's trash you're burning and you say it’s a cooking fire, I may ask you to cook that hot dog and eat it,” he said.
Chief Parsons recommended that Waterville residents take yard waste to the Clean Wood Recycling facility on the Anthony Wayne Trail just north of downtown, where drop-off is free for residents with city-issued identification cards.