Open Burn Earl Township

An open fire in a neighborhood south of New Holland in Earl Township. The rubbish fire had flames reach as high as the tree in front of the blaze, according to a reader.

This week, Lancaster Watchdog looks at outdoor burning in Earl Township and lane markings along Fruitville Pike.

Outdoor burning

An Earl Township reader is curious about outdoor burning rules in Lancaster County.

“I’ve lived here for almost 4 years and see trash fires nearly every week,” the reader wrote.

Most are about the size of a large bonfire and consist of burning wood or trash, the reader said. However, he said, a nearby family demolished their house recently and burned the remaining rubbish in a large “trash fire” that burned as high as the trees for hours.

“These trash fires appear to be adding to our air pollution,” the reader wrote. “Are these fires regulated in any way?”

For much of the county, such burning is either prohibited or restricted, including Earl Township.

According to the township’s air pollution control ordinance, certain waste may be burned on private property, but it must be done at least 100 feet from any building, property line or road line.

Permitted waste includes trees, shrubs and native vegetation on land before construction, the ordinance states. But one prohibition is clear: such waste “does not include demolition wastes and dirt-laden roots,” such as construction rubbish.

In addition, burning is not allowed on Sundays or holidays, the ordinance states.

Fines for violating the ordinance range from $100 to $1,000. Failure to pay fines can result in up to 30 days in jail.

Fruitville Pike lines

A reader states lane markings on Fruitville Pike are a nuisance for local drivers and a “nightmare” for out-of-towners.

“I thought it was bad at night and in the rain, but it is a disgrace even in broad daylight,” the reader said. “The traffic lights are not aligned with the actual road markings either.”

Watchdog reached out to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, and spokesman Dave Thompson said the department has a goal of painting every road in the district at least once a year, including one round at Fruitville Pike this summer.

Lancaster County’s PennDOT district includes Adams, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Lebanon, Perry and York counties.

“Fruitville Pike was painted last summer and is expected to be painted again this season,” he said. “In addition to maintaining two PennDOT paint crews, the district has a contract in place for the painting of more than 1,100 miles of freeways, expressways and major arterials.”

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