Fire companies in Delaware are allowed to conduct certain open burning activities, including assisting farmers with agricultural burning and the intentional burning of structures for the purposes of firefighting instruction.
Occasionally, fire companies are asked to conduct the burning of crop residue, field perimeter maintenance material, or land clearing material from the establishment of agricultural operations for safety reasons. These types of burns are allowed and do not require any paperwork from the fire company. However, they are considered agricultural burns, and require paperwork from the property owner.
Burning structures in order to dispose of them is strictly prohibited. However, property owners sometimes donate buildings and other standing structures to Delaware Fire Companies for the purpose of conducting live firefighting training for their company’s members. These training exercises help firefighters develop their skills in battling blazes and rescuing those in need.
Before a structure can be used for live firefighting instruction, it must first be appraised for its condition and training value by the fire company. The structure must be standing, allow for valuable training exercises, and the fire company must be in need of training at that time.
Once the fire company has confirmed their desire to train on the structure, the property owner must have the structure inspected for asbestos.
After the structure has been certified to be asbestos-free, the property owner must provide copies of the final asbestos inspection report and the Notification of Demolition or Renovation to the Delaware fire company.
The Delaware fire company would then submit a completed Application for Demolition via Firefighting Instruction to the Division of Air Quality.
The Division of Air Quality will review the fire company’s application and issue a written approval.
If for any reason the demolition via firefighting instruction cannot occur on the day noted on the application, the fire company must notify DNREC’s Division of Air Quality of the new date as soon as possible.