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RACINE – The City of Racine’s ban on open burning is lifted effective immediately, the Racine
Fire Department
(RFD) announced Thursday. Open burning had been banned this spring
because of health concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

RFD has set the following criteria for open, outdoor fires:
• Burning shall be limited to portable fireplaces intended for the purpose of outdoor recreational
fires approved by the Underwriters Laboratory, Factory Mutual, or other suitable testing agency
authorized by the chief of the fire department.
• Portable fireplaces may only be used on noncombustible surfaces, such as dirt, grass, or
concrete with a minimum distance of 25 feet from any structure.
• Materials and fuels used in outdoor fireplaces may not include rubbish, garbage, trash,
construction waste, any material made of or coated with rubber, plastic, leather, hazardous
chemical, or petroleum-based materials, or any material that produces offensive smoke or
• Only clean dry wood can be burned.
• To ensure life safety and to prevent fires from endangering surrounding property, all open
fires shall be under continuous supervision until they are completely extinguished and the
remaining embers are cold or have been thoroughly wet down
• Any fire in an outdoor fireplace or cooking facility, which a reasonable person might consider
to be smoky and/or otherwise offensive may be ordered extinguished by an officer of the police
or the fire department.

Any violation of the City of Racine Municipal Code 50-264 Open Fire Violations
is subject to a $150 fine per occurrence. In addition, the RFD reminds the public that distancing is key to limiting the spread of COVID- While outdoors, please keep at least six feet apart from others and avoid direct physical contact.

The RFD also asks that residents be mindful of their neighbors who may have medical conditions that may be aggravated by the burning of materials other than clean dry wood.

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Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for Patch.com, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.