CHAPTER 449
FIRE WARDENS

Table of Contents

Sec. 23-33. Commissioner of Environmental Protection to be State Forest Fire Warden.
Sec. 23-34. Prosecutorial powers of State Forest Fire Warden.
Sec. 23-35. Fire-fighting crews.
Sec. 23-36. Powers and duties of State Forest Fire Warden.
Sec. 23-37. Powers and duties of state forest fire control personnel and district and deputy fire wardens.
Sec. 23-37a. Forest fire-fighting equipment for fire companies.
Sec. 23-37b. Forest fire-fighting equipment account.
Sec. 23-37c. Termination of forest fire-fighting equipment account.
Sec. 23-38. Posting of notices containing fire laws.
Sec. 23-39. Compensation of wardens and firefighters.
Sec. 23-40. Patrol personnel.
Sec. 23-41. Disposal of receipts.
Sec. 23-42. Liability of railroads for damages caused by sparks.
Sec. 23-43. Determination of railroad fire hazards.
Sec. 23-44. Protection from railroad fire hazards.
Sec. 23-45. Regulations by commissioner. Violations. Penalty.
Sec. 23-46. Removal of cut brush along highways. Penalty.
Sec. 23-47. Forest fire hazards.
Sec. 23-48. Kindling fire in the open. Penalty.
Sec. 23-49. Permits for kindling fires. Exemptions.
Sec. 23-49a. Declaration of burning ban; special burning permit; penalty; exemptions.
Sec. 23-50. Closing of forests by the Governor.
Sec. 23-51. Abandoned highways may be maintained for fire prevention.
Sec. 23-52. Recovery of expenses for extinguishing fires.

      Sec. 23-33. Commissioner of Environmental Protection to be State Forest Fire Warden. The Commissioner of Environmental Protection shall be, ex officio, State Forest Fire Warden and shall receive no additional compensation therefor, but necessary traveling and other expenses shall be paid by the state.

      (1949 Rev., S. 3473; P.A. 01-150, S. 4.)

      History: P.A. 01-150 designated Commissioner of Environmental Protection, ex officio, to be State Forest Fire Warden and made a technical change for purposes of gender neutrality.

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      Sec. 23-34. Prosecutorial powers of State Forest Fire Warden. Section 23-34 is repealed, effective October 1, 2001.

      (1949 Rev., S. 3474; 1961, P.A. 517, S. 104; P.A. 74-183, S. 250, 291; P.A. 76-436, S. 214, 681; P.A. 01-150, S. 20.)

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      Sec. 23-35. Fire-fighting crews. The State Forest Fire Warden shall equip trained fire-fighting crews at major department field facilities and maintain them during periods when forest fires are most likely to occur. Such crews shall be prepared to respond to requests for assistance when a fire occurs on or endangers either state or private forest and timber land, or upon call from the United States Forest Service to assist them or any requesting state in the suppression of forest fires.

      (1949 Rev., S. 3475; 1971, P.A. 872, S. 198; P.A. 75-313; P.A. 01-150, S. 5.)

      History: 1971 act replaced state park and forest commission with environmental protection commissioner; P.A. 75-313 required maintenance of crews at major field facilities rather than at various state forests, required crews to respond when fire endangers forest or timber land, having substituted forest or timber land for the less specific "property", where previously response required for fires which "occur" on state or private land, and required crews to respond upon call of U.S. Forest Service or a requesting state; P.A. 01-150 deleted obsolete reference to direction and supervision of the Commissioner of Environmental Protection.

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      Sec. 23-36. Powers and duties of State Forest Fire Warden. The State Forest Fire Warden may take such action as said warden deems necessary to provide for the prevention and control of forest fires. Said warden may enter into agreements with federal agencies, with cities, boroughs and fire districts and with forest protective associations for the purpose of carrying out the provisions of this section. Said warden shall divide the state into districts for the purpose of preventing and controlling forest fires and shall appoint within these districts such district fire wardens, not exceeding two hundred and fifty, as said warden deems necessary, who shall serve for two years or until their successors are appointed. The State Forest Fire Warden shall have supervision of district fire wardens and shall instruct them in their duties. Each district fire warden may, with the approval of the State Forest Fire Warden, appoint deputies to assist in extinguishing fires and to take charge of such extinguishing in such district fire warden's absence, provided, in cities having paid fire departments and whose boundaries are coterminous with the town boundaries, the State Forest Fire Warden may appoint a district fire warden and may assume responsibility for forest fires only upon the written request of the mayor of such city and for such portions as may be designated by such mayor. Cities without paid fire departments and portions of towns outside of city limits shall be included in forest fire districts and the State Forest Fire Warden may employ volunteer fire companies under the conditions described in this section and sections 23-37 to 23-42, inclusive. The State Forest Fire Warden shall establish rates of compensation for equipment usage, fire fighting materials and supplies expended and firefighter and laborer time expended in extinguishing forest fires to be paid to such volunteer fire companies as may be employed. In establishing such rates, the State Forest Fire Warden may differentiate between various kinds of equipment and material and supplies used and the provisions of section 23-39 shall apply to the establishment of rates of compensation for firefighter and laborer time. Notwithstanding any provision of the general statutes or any municipal ordinance, upon the declaration by the Governor of the existence of a state of emergency due to forest fire, the State Forest Fire Warden may assume direct authority over efforts to extinguish any forest fire and may assign such authority to any state forest fire control personnel.

      (1949 Rev., S. 3476; 1949, S. 1876d; February, 1965, P.A. 40, S. 1; P.A. 75-292; P.A. 01-150, S. 6.)

      History: 1965 act made appointment of district fire wardens and assumption of responsibility for forest fires upon mayors' requests optional rather than mandatory by substituting "may" for "shall"; P.A. 75-292 changed term of district fire wardens from one year to two years; P.A. 01-150 deleted reference to the prosecution of violations of forest fire laws, authorized the State Forest Fire Warden to establish rates of compensation for equipment usage, firefighting materials and supplies expended and firefighter and labor time expended in extinguishing forest fires and authorized the State Forest Fire Warden to assume direct authority over efforts to extinguish forest fires during a declared forest-fire-related state of emergency, and made technical changes for purposes of gender neutrality.

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      Sec. 23-37. Powers and duties of state forest fire control personnel and district and deputy fire wardens. (a) State forest fire control personnel and district and deputy fire wardens shall, under the supervision of the State Forest Fire Warden, use all necessary means to prevent and extinguish forest fires.

      (b) Such state forest fire control personnel shall assist the fire chief or the fire officer-in-charge in the control and direction of all persons and apparatus while engaged in extinguishing forest fires in their respective districts, or in other districts under the instructions of the State Forest Fire Warden.

      (c) Such state forest fire control personnel and fire wardens may destroy fences, plow land or, in an emergency, close roads, with or without detours, and set backfires to hasten the control of any fire.

      (d) Such state forest fire control personnel may summon any resident of the state between the ages of eighteen and fifty years to assist in extinguishing fires, and may also require the use of equipment, motor vehicles and other property needed for such purposes. Any person so summoned, who is physically able, who refuses or neglects to assist or to allow the use of equipment, motor vehicles or other material or property, or wilfully interferes with or hinders any warden or other person having authority under this section, shall be fined not more than two hundred dollars.

      (e) No action for trespass shall lie against any person crossing or working upon lands of another to extinguish fire or for investigation thereof.

      (1949 Rev., S. 3477; 1949, S. 1877d; P.A. 74-83, S. 2; P.A. 81-354, S. 3, 4; P.A. 96-180, S. 88, 166; P.A. 00-99, S. 67, 154; P.A. 01-150, S. 7.)

      History: P.A. 74-83 allowed summons of any resident qualified with regard to age for fire-fighting duties, rather than any "male" resident in Subsec. (d); P.A. 81-354 changed title of forest rangers to state forest fire control personnel; P.A. 96-180 deleted obsolete Subsec. (g), which had empowered district fire wardens to collect expenses incurred in fire extinguishing for state, effective June 3, 1996; P.A. 00-99 deleted reference to powers of deputy sheriff in Subsec. (f), effective December 1, 2000; P.A. 01-150 deleted reference to state forest fire control personnel and district and deputy fire wardens enforcing all statutes for the protection of forest and timber land from fire from Subsec. (a), amended Subsec. (b) to require state forest fire control personnel to assist the fire chief or fire officer-in-charge, amended Subsec. (d) by substituting "equipment" for "horses" and "wagons" in extinguishing fires, increased the fine for failing to assist or interfering in the containment of a fire to $200 and deleted Subsec. (f) concerning the arrest powers of state forest fire control personnel.

      Cited. 119 C. 602.

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      Sec. 23-37a. Forest fire-fighting equipment for fire companies. Upon written request by any fire company which may be called upon to fight forest fires, the Commissioner of Environmental Protection shall provide such company, from reserves available to the commissioner, with forest fire-fighting equipment. Such company shall be responsible for the maintenance of such equipment.

      (1959, P.A. 124, S. 1; 1971, P.A. 872, S. 199; P.A. 84-347, S. 3, 5; P.A. 01-150, S. 8.)

      History: 1971 act replaced references to state park and forest commission with references to environmental protection commissioner; P.A. 84-347 deleted provision limiting eligibility to volunteer fire companies and eliminated requirement that equipment provided by commissioner must include at least six rakes, six brooms and six handpumps; P.A. 01-150 deleted the reference to the Commissioner of Environmental Protection's responsibility for the replacement of fire-fighting equipment made available to fire companies.

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      Sec. 23-37b. Forest fire-fighting equipment account. (a) There is established within the General Fund a separate account to be known as the forest fire-fighting equipment account, for the purpose of providing money for the purchase by the Commissioner of Environmental Protection of forest fire-fighting equipment, including, but not limited to, backpack pumps, rakes, brooms and shovels. The commissioner may sell such equipment to any fire company that may be called upon to fight forest fires. The amount paid by the fire company for such equipment shall be the approximate cost of the equipment to the commissioner. Any revenue received for the sale of equipment shall be credited to said account and may be used for additional purchases of equipment. Any administrative costs incurred in carrying out the provisions of this section shall be paid from the account.

      (b) The Commissioner of Environmental Protection shall adopt regulations in accordance with chapter 54 to implement the provisions of this section, including criteria for eligibility of fire companies and application procedures for the purchase of fire-fighting equipment.

      (P.A. 84-347, S. 1, 5; P.A. 86-312, S. 9, 21.)

      History: P.A. 86-312 changed equipment "fund" from a revolving fund to a separate "account" within the general fund.

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      Sec. 23-37c. Termination of forest fire-fighting equipment account. Section 23-37c is repealed.

      (P.A. 84-347, S. 2, 5; P.A. 86-312, S. 10, 21; P.A. 87-500, S. 1, 3; P.A. 89-351, S. 10, 11.)

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      Sec. 23-38. Posting of notices containing fire laws. State forest fire control personnel may post such notices relating to forest fires and the statutes concerning fires as the State Forest Fire Warden prepares, and any person who wilfully or maliciously tears down or destroys any such notice shall be fined ten dollars.

      (1949 Rev., S. 3478; 1949, S. 1878d; P.A. 96-180, S. 89, 166; P.A. 01-150, S. 9.)

      History: P.A. 96-180 changed "State Fire Warden" to "State Forest Fire Warden", effective June 3, 1996; P.A. 01-150 deleted reference to district fire wardens and authorized state forest fire control personnel to post notices relating to forest fires.

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      Sec. 23-39. Compensation of wardens and firefighters. The compensation of district and deputy fire wardens, trained firefighters organized in accordance with rules issued by the State Forest Fire Warden and such laborers as said warden finds it necessary to employ shall be fixed by said warden on an hourly basis, subject to the approval of the Commissioner of Administrative Services. Volunteer fire companies may be compensated in accordance with section 23-36. The chief of the fire department in any town, city or borough who receives a regular salary shall be paid no additional compensation when acting as a fire warden. District fire wardens shall prepare their bills for services rendered by them and by the personnel and automobiles and other apparatus employed or used by them in extinguishing fires. The chief of any volunteer fire company may prepare bills for services rendered by said company and by the personnel and automobiles and other apparatus employed or used by them in extinguishing forest fires, if said company is allowed by town ordinance to receive payment for such bills. Such bills shall be on a form prescribed by the State Forest Warden and shall be submitted to the State Forest Fire Warden within one month after the services have been rendered, and, if found correct and approved by said warden, shall be ordered paid by the State Comptroller. A copy of each bill so paid on account of any fire within a city, as provided in section 23-36, shall be sent by the State Forest Fire Warden to the city treasurer of the city in which the fire occurred, except bills for which a railroad company is liable under the provisions of section 23-42, and, on or before the tenth day of December in each year, such city treasurer shall draw the treasurer's order in favor of the State Treasurer for the full amount of such bills submitted during the twelve months next preceding. The State Forest Fire Warden may forgive such bills if the state would incur administrative costs in collecting the debt owed that would exceed the actual debt owed. Bills for expenses incurred or services rendered by district or deputy wardens in the performance of duties other than fire fighting shall be submitted to the State Forest Fire Warden on or before the tenth day of December and the tenth day of June in each year. Upon approval by the State Forest Fire Warden, such bills shall be ordered paid by the State Comptroller from any sums available for the expenses of the State Forest Fire Warden. All fire warden bills authorized by sections 23-37, 23-38, 23-40 to 23-42, inclusive, and this section shall show in detail the amount and character of the services performed, the exact duration thereof and all disbursements made by such wardens.

      (1949 Rev., S. 3479; 1949, 1951, S. 1879d; 1959, P.A. 152, S. 53; February, 1965, P.A. 57; P.A. 77-614, S. 66, 610; P.A. 01-150, S. 10.)

      History: 1959 act deleted provisions requiring that copies of bills be sent to county commissioners, except bills for which railroad companies are liable, and requiring that county treasurers pay half of the amount of such bills for the preceding 12 months to state treasurer on or before December tenth annually; 1965 act required that city treasurers pay full amount of bills for preceding 12 months rather than half the amount; P.A. 77-614 replaced personnel commissioner, presumably the successor of the personnel "director" mentioned in the section, with commissioner of administrative services; P.A. 01-150 authorized payments to volunteer fire companies in accordance with Sec. 23-36, authorized the chief of any volunteer fire company to prepare and submit bills to the State Forest Fire Warden and authorized the State Forest Fire Warden to forgive certain bills and made certain technical changes including changes for purposes of gender neutrality.

      Cited. 127 C. 57.

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      Sec. 23-40. Patrol personnel. The State Forest Fire Warden may appoint patrol personnel, who shall receive compensation for the time actually employed, and may establish and equip fire lookout stations and furnish necessary equipment for such patrol personnel. Any patrol personnel so appointed for such purpose shall have authority to summon assistance as provided in section 23-37 and to render bills for such expenses as provided in section 23-39.

      (1949 Rev., S. 3480; 1967, P.A. 338, S. 1; P.A. 00-99, S. 68, 154; P.A. 01-150, S. 11.)

      History: 1967 act deleted provision authorizing patrolmen to collect expenses incurred in extinguishing fires on state's behalf; P.A. 00-99 deleted reference to powers of deputy sheriff, effective December 1, 2000; P.A. 01-150 deleted reference to the arrest powers of patrol personnel and made technical changes for purposes of gender neutrality.

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      Sec. 23-41. Disposal of receipts. All sums received by the State Treasurer from railroad companies or from any other source, as reimbursement for expenses incurred by the State Forest Fire Warden or his deputies in the performance of their duties, shall be deposited in the General Fund in accordance with the provisions of section 4-32. Expenditures incurred by the Commissioner of Environmental Protection for the prevention and suppression of forest fires shall be paid with moneys appropriated from the General Fund.

      (1949 Rev., S. 3482; June, 1955, S. 1881d; 1961, P.A. 517, S. 23; 1971, P.A. 872, S. 200; P.A. 96-180, S. 90, 166.)

      History: 1961 act deleted reference to receipt of funds from county treasurers; 1971 act replaced state park and forest commission with environmental protection commissioner; P.A. 96-180 changed "State Fire Warden" to "State Forest Fire Warden", effective June 3, 1996.

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      Sec. 23-42. Liability of railroads for damages caused by sparks. Any railroad company which, through act of its employees or agents, by sparks from its locomotives or otherwise, sets fire to trees, brush or grass on lands outside the right-of-way of such company, shall be liable to the state for the lawful expenses incurred by the State Forest Fire Warden in extinguishing such fire. The bill for any such fire shall be submitted by the warden or fire chief in charge to the State Forest Fire Warden. If approved by the State Forest Fire Warden, it shall be ordered paid by the State Comptroller. A statement of all such bills paid by the state during the previous six months shall be submitted on or before the tenth day of December and the tenth day of June in each year by the State Forest Fire Warden to the railroad company liable under the provisions of this section. Such statement shall be accompanied by copies of all bills on which the claim is based and shall be paid by such railroad company to the State Treasurer. Each section foreperson employed by a railroad company, upon the discovery of any fire in the section under the jurisdiction of the foreperson, for which such company is liable under the provisions of this section, shall summon necessary assistance, proceed to the fire and extinguish it, and shall give such assistance to state forest fire control personnel as may, from time to time, be requested by such personnel.

      (1949 Rev., S. 3483; 1949, S. 1883d; P.A. 01-150, S. 12.)

      History: P.A. 01-150 made technical changes including changes for purposes of gender neutrality.

      See Sec. 13b-360 et seq. re fires caused by railway engines.

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      Sec. 23-43. Determination of railroad fire hazards. The State Forest Fire Warden may, at any time, bring a petition in writing to the Commissioner of Transportation, describing such portions of the right-of-way of any railroad company operating a railroad in this state, and land contiguous to such right-of-way, as, in the opinion of said forest fire warden, constitute fire hazards amounting to public menaces during dry seasons, and praying said commissioner to find whether or not such portions of such right-of-way and contiguous land constitute such fire hazards. Upon receipt of any such application, said commissioner shall fix a time and place of hearing and shall give notice thereof to the State Forest Fire Warden, the company operating such railroad and the mayor of the city, the warden of the borough or the first selectman of the town in which any such portion of right-of-way is located. The commissioner shall then determine what portions, if any, of the right-of-way and contiguous land described in such application constitute such fire hazards, and shall forthwith give written notice of its finding to all parties in interest.

      (1949 Rev., S. 3484; P.A. 75-486, S. 54, 69; P.A. 77-614, S. 571, 587, 610; P.A. 78-303, S. 85, 136.)

      History: P.A. 75-486 replaced public utilities commission with public utilities control authority; P.A. 77-614 and P.A. 78-303 replaced public utilities control authority with commissioner of transportation, effective January 1, 1979.

      See Sec. 13b-4b re Commissioner of Transportation's powers relative to railroads.

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      Sec. 23-44. Protection from railroad fire hazards. As to any portion of any railroad right-of-way and contiguous land that may be found by the Commissioner of Transportation to constitute such a fire hazard, the commissioner, upon motion of said commissioner or at the request of the State Forest Fire Warden or of the owner or owners of any land adjoining such portion, shall have power, from time to time, to order the railroad company operating such railroad to furnish a patrol whose duty it shall be to cover such portion of the right-of-way and contiguous land in dry seasons and to extinguish any fires set by the locomotives of such railroad company. The commissioner may also, with the consent of any owner or owners of land bordering upon such right-of-way, require such railroad company to create a fire break meeting specifications established by the State Forest Fire Warden on the land of such owner or owners, such line to be located not more than two hundred feet from the nearest track of such railroad, or to clear the brush and inflammable material from a strip of land whose outer limit shall be not more than two hundred feet from such nearest track. The commissioner may also require each railroad company operating a railroad in this state, between the first day of September and the first day of December in each year, to cause to be cut and destroyed all dead grass and weeds on such portions of the right-of-way of such railroad company as have been found by said commissioner to constitute fire hazards amounting to public menace.

      (1949 Rev., S. 3485; P.A. 75-486, S. 1, 69; P.A. 77-614, S. 571, 587, 610; P.A. 78-303, S. 85, 136; P.A. 01-150, S. 13.)

      History: P.A. 75-486 replaced public utilities commission with public utilities control authority; P.A. 77-614 and P.A. 78-303 replaced public utilities control authority with commissioner of transportation, effective January 1, 1979; P.A. 01-150 deleted reference to a fire line and its specifications and authorized the commissioner to require a railroad company to create a fire break meeting specifications established by the State Forest Fire Warden and made technical changes for purposes of gender neutrality.

      See Sec. 13b-4b re Commissioner of Transportation's powers relative to railroads.

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      Sec. 23-45. Regulations by commissioner. Violations. Penalty. The Commissioner of Transportation is authorized to make and enforce such rules and regulations as may be required to carry out the provisions of sections 23-43 and 23-44 and may, at any time, for cause shown, upon hearing, after notice to all parties in interest, rescind, reverse or alter any order made by him pursuant to the authority conferred by said sections. Any railroad company which fails to obey any order of said commissioner made in pursuance of the authority granted by sections 23-43 and 23-44 and this section shall be fined not more than five thousand dollars for each offense. Each distinct violation of any such order shall be a separate offense, and, in the case of a continued violation, each day thereof shall be deemed a separate offense.

      (1949 Rev., S. 3486; P.A. 75-486, S. 55, 69; P.A. 77-614, S. 571, 587, 610; P.A. 78-303, S. 85, 136; P.A. 79-560, S. 12, 39.)

      History: P.A. 75-486 replaced public utilities commission with public utilities control authority; P.A. 77-614 and P.A. 78-303 replaced public utilities control authority with commissioner of transportation, effective January 1, 1979; P.A. 79-560 replaced provision penalizing violators as provided in Sec. 16-41 with specific penalty.

      See Sec. 13b-4b re Commissioner of Transportation's powers relative to railroads.

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      Sec. 23-46. Removal of cut brush along highways. Penalty. (a) No person, firm or corporation and no agent of any state department or town shall pile and leave piled for a period of more than ten days any cut brush, tree-growth or other inflammable material, except farm products, hay, wood products, lumber, cord wood, wood for domestic use or articles exposed for sale, within twenty-five feet of any highway or one hundred feet of any building, or in such a way as to endanger life or property.

      (b) The State Forest Fire Warden may order the removal of such material, designating a time, not more than ten days from the service of notice of such order, when such hazard-causing material shall be removed. Such order shall be in writing and left at the usual place of abode of the person to whom directed or mailed to his last-known address by registered or certified mail. A signed postal receipt shall be evidence that such notice was received by the addressee.

      (c) Any person who violates the provisions of subsection (a) of this section or who fails to comply with any order issued under the provisions of subsection (b) of this section shall be fined not more than one hundred dollars or shall be liable to the state for any expense not exceeding one hundred dollars caused by the removal of such cut brush, tree-growth or inflammable material.

      (1949 Rev., S. 3487; P.A. 07-217, S. 118.)

      History: P.A. 07-217 made technical changes in Subsec. (c), effective July 12, 2007.

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      Sec. 23-47. Forest fire hazards. In case of emergency, when down timber, parts of trees or brush, within two hundred feet of any highway, creates an unusual fire hazard that may endanger life or property, the State Forest Fire Warden, with the written consent or at the written direction of the governor, may enter upon such property and remove or reduce such abnormal fire hazard with such labor or funds as may be available; provided a copy of such consent or order shall have been published on two consecutive days in a newspaper having a circulation in the area described therein. No action for trespass shall lie against the State Forest Fire Warden or any of his agents by reason of any act for the purpose of reducing such hazard.

      (1949 Rev., S. 3488.)

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      Sec. 23-48. Kindling fire in the open. Penalty. Any person who kindles or directs another to kindle a fire in the open air, without proper authorization from state or local authorities or any person who burns materials that are prohibited from being burned by any provision of the general statutes, regulation of the state or local ordinance, shall be fined not more than two hundred dollars or imprisoned not more than six months or both.

      (1949 Rev., S. 3489; 1955, S. 1884d; 1959, P.A. 249; P.A. 01-150, S. 19.)

      History: 1959 act substituted "directs" for "authorizes" in phrase "kindles or authorizes another to kindle a fire" and added qualifying phrase "without proper authorization from state or local authorities"; P.A. 01-150 deleted provision re fire which causes injury to property or person and substituted reference to burning of materials prohibited from being burned by statute, regulation or ordinance.

      See Sec. 23-49a re open-air burning.

      Cited. 119 C. 602.

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      Sec. 23-49. Permits for kindling fires. Exemptions. Section 23-49 is repealed.

      (1949 Rev., S. 3490; 1949, 1953, 1955, S. 1885d; 1961, P.A. 543; 1969, P.A. 671, S. 5.)

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      Sec. 23-49a. Declaration of burning ban; special burning permit; penalty; exemptions. (a) No person shall kindle or use fire in the open air within one hundred feet of woodland, brushland, or area containing dried grass that is adjacent to any woodland or brushland, when the forest fire danger, as declared by the State Forest Fire Warden, is high or extreme, or during a drought emergency as declared by the State Forest Fire Warden. When weather conditions indicate that such forest fire danger exists, the State Forest Fire Warden shall make public announcement of the fact, using such news media as may be available and the provisions of this section shall then be in effect until cancelled by said warden.

      (b) Notwithstanding any provision of subsection (a) of this section to the contrary, an owner of land or an agent of such owner may apply to the State Forest Fire Warden or designee of said warden for a special burning permit during such period of burning ban. If the State Forest Fire Warden or designee is of the opinion that the proposed burning is of immediate necessity, will not be in conflict with local or state regulatory authority, and that the permittee has the necessary equipment and manpower to confine the fire, the State Forest Fire Warden may issue a special burning permit stating the location, time and conditions under which such burning is to be effected.

      (c) Any person who violates any of the provisions of subsection (a) of this section shall be fined not more than two hundred dollars or imprisoned not more than six months or both.

      (d) Nothing contained in this section shall limit any duly authorized public authority from carrying out their assigned duties where the use of fire is necessary to the reduction of a health or fire hazard.

      (1969, P.A. 671, S. 1-4; P.A. 01-150, S. 14.)

      History: P.A. 01-150 amended Subsec. (b) to authorize the State Forest Fire Warden or the warden's designee to issue special burning permits, deleted reference to the fire warden of the district and made technical changes in Subsecs. (a) and (b) for purposes of gender neutrality.

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      Sec. 23-50. Closing of forests by the Governor. Whenever it appears to the Governor that by reason of extreme drought or other hazardous conditions there is danger of forest fires, he may proclaim that any or all sections of woodland and brush land in the state shall be closed, for such time as he may designate, to all persons except the owners or tenants of such woodlands and their agents and employees, and during such period of closure no fire shall be kindled in the open air. As soon as the woodland is deemed free from the danger of fire, the Governor may revoke his proclamation. Any person who enters upon forest or brush land, except as provided herein, or who kindles or causes to be kindled a fire in the open air, during the period covered by the Governor's proclamation, shall be fined not less than five dollars nor more than one hundred dollars or imprisoned not more than six months or be both fined and imprisoned.

      (1949 Rev., S. 3493; 1955, S. 1887d.)

      See Sec. 26-25 re Governor's power to declare closed season for fishing or hunting as precaution to prevent fires.

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      Sec. 23-51. Abandoned highways may be maintained for fire prevention. Section 23-51 is repealed, effective October 1, 2001.

      (1949 Rev., S. 3494; P.A. 01-150, S. 20.)

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      Sec. 23-52. Recovery of expenses for extinguishing fires. Section 23-52 is repealed.

      (1949 Rev., S. 3495; 1967, P.A. 338, S. 2.)

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