While the City of Waukesha hasn’t followed the direction of other communities in instituting a burn ban given the dry weather conditions the area has seen recently, that doesn’t mean residents have a free reign to host bonfire parties this week.
The city only allows recreational burning and in order to have a small fire, the winds have to be under 10 miles per hour.
The city’s codebook outlines the conditions for open fires in residential areas:
- Between 3 p.m. and midnight
- A least 25 feet from buildings, trees, bushes, plants, fences or any combustible material.
- A below-ground pit or an outdoor fireplace
- Not permitted when winds exceed 10 mph
- Flames can not exceed 3 feet
- Items to extinguish fire must be nearby
- A person above the age 18 must be present
Because the grass in Waukesha is dry, people should “exercise extreme caution” when using fire pits in the city, according to Battalion Chief Joe Hoffman, and even then, the fires are prohibited with winds above 10 mph.
Although it may slightly rain tonight, there needs to be a few good drenching before the ground is wet enough for area bonfires.
“Even if we do manage to get a little bit of rain tonight … it is not going to be enough to subside the problem we have with being rain deficient,” Hoffman said.
If people notice recreational fires in their neighborhood during windy conditions, they are urged to contact the Waukesha Police Department through its non-emergency number, 262-524-3831.