Lake Barrington latest to ban open burning on residential properties
Lake Barrington has joined a small but growing list of places where open burning on residential property is temporarily banned in what officials say is an effort to help residents with respiratory problems during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"We did not receive any complaints," Village Administrator Karen Daulton Lange said Friday. "It was something that the village board thought made good sense in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and the vulnerability of persons suffering from respiratory issues. More people are staying and working from home, so reducing exposure to smoke was thought to be in the best interests of the public."
Open burning of leaves, brush, sticks, small branches and other trimmings on Lake Barrington residential properties -- away from any structures -- typically is allowed from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Oct. 1 through May 31. However, the village board Tuesday night approved the immediate temporary ban that'll run through Dec. 31.
"From the start of this pandemic, the village's number-one priority is the safety and well-being of our residents," Lake Barrington Village President Kevin Richardson said. "That is why we took the necessary precaution of issuing a declaration of disaster in March and why we are banning all open burning within our community now."
Lake Barrington, which has a 1-acre residential lot minimum, became the latest suburban government agency to address open burning. The Lake Zurich Rural Fire Protection District, which includes North Barrington in its coverage area, has issued a temporary ban on open and controlled burns until the state lifts the stay-at-home order for the COVID-19 pandemic.
Vernon Hills-based Countryside Fire Protection District has banned open and controlled burning in its 24-square-mile jurisdiction through June 1. In part, Fire Chief Chuck Smith cited concerns about those with chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma being at higher risk for severe illness from the virus.
Daulton Lange said she expects Lake Barrington to review the temporary ban in the fall.
Nearby Barrington Hills, which has a 5-acre residential lot minimum, is one of the few municipalities to allow burning on the properties. The village board has not enacted a ban.
"My sense is a restriction or ban (on burning) is not the general consensus, but I can't answer for the board," Village President Martin McLaughlin said. "We will see when a recommendation comes forward."
Barrington Hills' regulations include a maximum of three hours of burning per day from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Residents are allowed to burn dry firewood, landscape waste and lumber that hasn't been treated or painted.
It's common for densely populated suburbs to prohibit open burning of yard waste or other materials.
Recreational fires in a pit or a backyard patio are allowed within the Lake Zurich district if they are not creating a nuisance.