Anchorage Assembly establishes criminal offense for open burning during burn ban
Those caught could face up to 1 year in jail and a $10,000 fine
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The Anchorage Assembly on Tuesday night passed an emergency ordinance establishing a criminal offense for open burning during suspended or prohibited periods.
The ordinance, which passed unanimously, makes open burning during burn bans a class A misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and a $10,000 fine.
According to the ordinance, it is unlawful for any person to:
- cause open burning on the property of another person at a time when open burning is suspended or prohibited
- permit any open burning on public land to continue in that person’s presence without calling emergency services, when open burning is suspended or prohibited
The emergency ordinance was proposed by the administration and cosponsored by Assembly Vice Chair Chris Constant.
“We are in a current extreme fire situation currently. The Anchorage Fire Department has responded to a number — last I counted it was over 40 — illegal burns within the Municipality of Anchorage. A multitude of those have resulted in wildland fires,” Municipal Manager Amy Demboski said. “If wind kicks up we could be seeing a very critical situation for life and safety within the municipality so for that reason we’re asking the assembly to adopt this emergency ordinance.”
The ordinance went into effect immediately upon passage and will stay in effect for 60 days.
A separate ordinance was introduced at the meeting to make this codified in Anchorage Municipal Code. That will be considered at a public hearing on June 7.
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