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Old 03-18-2011, 07:45 PM
 
350 posts, read 1,967,977 times
Reputation: 454
Default Inconsiderate neighbor burning something in his yard

A neighbor a few houses down is burning what looks like brush and branches from his yard in what looks like a large BBQ. Last weekend he burned brush and branches from Friday-Sunday. Tonight he's at it again, though I can't tell if he's still burning brush and branches or something else. The flames are huge so I know it's not regular BBQ-ing. I'd say the flames are least 3-4 feet in the air from what I can tell and giving off a lot of sparks, and it's been going on for 4 hours already. The smoke plume is enormous. I went outside briefly and the smoke smell was extremely intense.

I wouldn't care about this except for the fact that the smoke is entering my house. I have no open windows, and I have kept the heat off to not draw the smoke in. However, I can smell the smoke very strongly in my house--mainly in front of the chimney (the flue is closed) but also upstairs. I know our windows are not the best (older windows, and some are drafty). When there is no wind it's not as bad, but when the wind blows it in this direction it is very strong. As an asthma sufferer, I am not enjoying having symptoms in my own house. My husband said tomorrow he would do some weather-stripping and caulking around the exterior windows on the side towards his house, as well as weather strip inside the chimney, so maybe that might help some.

What can I do? We are homeowners, and have only lived here a few months and I don't know this neighbor at all (never met) so I feel uncomfortable about walking down there and saying something. I heard through the neighborhood grapevine that another neighbor asked him to stop burning the brush due to smoke coming in their house and making their kids cough, and he refused, so that is one issue. Clearly he doesn't care about his neighbors since someone already complained to no avail. I personally cannot understand inconsiderate neighbors like this.

I am considering contacting our HOA president to see if anything can be done about this but I am hesitant to do so because we are new to the neighborhood and I don't want to strain neighborly relations and make things uncomfortable. Not that there are any neighborly relations right now though since we've never met them.

As another fact, I did some research and one needs a permit in my county to burn brush. It is possible that he has a permit I suppose but if he doesn't then that is one thing that could get him to stop unless he goes and gets one.

What should I do? I thought it would be a one-weekend only thing (last weekend) but he is doing it again tonight. This is day #4 of this. He tends to do it for 6-7 hours per day.
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Old 03-18-2011, 07:52 PM
 
Location: Central Fl
2,902 posts, read 6,449,392 times
Reputation: 2586
There is usually an open burning law.........give a NON-EMERGENCY call to your local fire dept to find out. Usually even if they allow open burning they do not if it is bothering a neighboring house. Folks with allergies, etc cannot handle it and deserve to have a smoke free house.

Personally I love my 30-40 foot huge bonfires, but then again I live where I can do this without anyone being adversely affected. If folks choose to live where they have neighbors, then they need to be respectful of them.....

Frank
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Old 03-18-2011, 07:56 PM
 
Location: NE TN~ TriCities
5,227 posts, read 6,431,001 times
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Wait, you went through all this before as a renter and you turned around and bought a house in a neighborhood where fireplaces and brush burning are allowed?
Dealing with neighbors' wood fireplace smoke

I suppose at this point the best you can do is probably to seal up your house as best you can and look into a good air filtration system.
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Old 03-18-2011, 07:59 PM
 
Location: Seaford, Delaware
3,350 posts, read 10,057,078 times
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As said, make a NON emergency call to the fire department. Let them know about the large flames and flying sparks. It usually is illegal to burn like that in a populated area. Read your HOA agreement and see if the HOA has any provisions.
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Old 03-18-2011, 08:01 PM
 
350 posts, read 1,967,977 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DubbleT View Post
Wait, you went through all this before as a renter and you turned around and bought a house in a neighborhood where fireplaces and brush burning are allowed?
Dealing with neighbors' wood fireplace smoke

I suppose at this point the best you can do is probably to seal up your house as best you can and look into a good air filtration system.
Yes, unfortunately we did go through this as a renter and yes, are dealing with this again! Every house in this area has a fireplace and my county allows brush burning with a permit. However, I did notice that this winter there was not a problem with fireplace smoke coming in the house from other houses. It did happen faintly a few times but not nearly anywhere as bad as this. Probably b/c the smoke plume from this is way larger than what would come out of a fireplace.

Ok I will look through the HOA document and make the call to fire dept. I really don't want to give my address to the fire dept. though because then this neighbor will know who "told" on him, right? I'm just hesitant to sour neighborly relations b/c we're new to the neighborhood and also b/c another neighbor asked him to stop and he refused.
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Old 03-18-2011, 08:11 PM
 
Location: Central Fl
2,902 posts, read 6,449,392 times
Reputation: 2586
I am a Professional firefighter, actually on duty right now.

We get these calls all of the time. You can call and place a complaint without giving your name or address. Just tell them the address of the "burner", and tell them smoke is getting in your home causing health problems. They will go there NON EMERGENCY, and check it out and most likely make the burner put the fire out.....

Frank
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Old 03-18-2011, 08:15 PM
 
350 posts, read 1,967,977 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by faithfulFrank View Post
I am a Professional firefighter, actually on duty right now.

We get these calls all of the time. You can call and place a complaint without giving your name or address. Just tell them the address of the "burner", and tell them smoke is getting in your home causing health problems. They will go there NON EMERGENCY, and check it out and most likely make the burner put the fire out.....

Frank
So you're saying they will drive up in a big firetruck just for this, without the sirens going? But what if the guy has a permit, then he can legally burn brush in this county and he can keep on doing what he is doing. The fire is contained in a BBQ thing, though the flames are tall.
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Old 03-18-2011, 08:16 PM
 
Location: Far from where I'd like to be
25,135 posts, read 30,803,918 times
Reputation: 36532
My neighbor burns garbage (it's legal, alas). Consider yourself lucky.
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Old 03-18-2011, 08:19 PM
 
350 posts, read 1,967,977 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohiogirl81 View Post
My neighbor burns garbage (it's legal, alas). Consider yourself lucky.
Yikes! That's awful. How do you deal with this? Have you asked him to stop?
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Old 03-18-2011, 08:40 PM
 
Location: Central Texas
16,234 posts, read 22,143,012 times
Reputation: 12397
Quote:
Originally Posted by kibblesandbits View Post
So you're saying they will drive up in a big firetruck just for this, without the sirens going? But what if the guy has a permit, then he can legally burn brush in this county and he can keep on doing what he is doing. The fire is contained in a BBQ thing, though the flames are tall.
So, if you find out that what he is doing is legal and customary in the area you moved to, I take it you'll leave it alone?
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