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(525 ILCS 37/) Illinois Prescribed Burning Act.

525 ILCS 37/1

    (525 ILCS 37/1)
    Sec. 1. Short title. This Act may be cited as the Illinois Prescribed Burning Act.
(Source: P.A. 95-108, eff. 8-13-07.)

525 ILCS 37/5

    (525 ILCS 37/5)
    Sec. 5. Legislative findings; purpose.
    (a) Prescribed burning is a land management tool that benefits the safety of the public, the environment, and the economy of the State. Therefore, the General Assembly finds that:
        (1) Most of the State's natural communities require
periodic fire for maintenance of their ecological health. Prescribed burning is essential to the perpetuation, restoration, and management of many plant and animal communities. Significant loss of the State's biological diversity will occur if fire is excluded from these fire-dependent communities.
        (2) Public agencies and non-governmental
organizations in the State have spent millions of dollars to purchase hundreds of thousands of acres of land for parks, wildlife areas, State forests, nature preserves and other outdoor recreational purposes. The use of prescribed burning for management of these public and private lands is essential to maintain the specific resource values for which these areas were acquired.
        (3) Forests, grasslands, and wetlands in the State
constitute significant economic, biological, and aesthetic resources of statewide importance. Prescribed burning prepares sites for planting, removes undesirable competing vegetation, accelerates nutrient cycling, controls certain pathogens and noxious weeds, and promotes oak regeneration. In these communities, prescribed burning improves and maintains the quality and quantity of wildlife habitats.
        (4) Prescribed burning reduces naturally occurring
vegetative fuels. Reducing the fuel load reduces the risk and severity of wildfires, thereby reducing the threat of loss of life and property.
        (5) Federal and State agencies promote and subsidize
fire dependent vegetative communities and recommend prescribed burning as an essential management practice for many funded programs.
        (6) Proper training in the purposes, use, and
application of prescribed burning is necessary to ensure maximum benefits and protection for the public.
        (7) Prescribed burning in the hands of trained,
skilled, and experienced people is safe and often the most cost effective management technique to accomplish many ecosystem restoration objectives and ecological goals.
        (8) A public education program is necessary to make
citizens and visitors aware of the public safety, natural resource, and economic benefits of prescribed burning and its use as a land management tool.
        (9) As development and urbanization increase in the
State, pressures from liability issues, and nuisance complaints will inhibit the use of prescribed burning.
    (b) It is the purpose of this Act to authorize and to promote the continued use of prescribed burning for ecological, forest, wetland, wildlife management, and grassland management purposes.
(Source: P.A. 95-108, eff. 8-13-07.)

525 ILCS 37/10

    (525 ILCS 37/10)
    Sec. 10. Definitions. As used in this Act:
    (a) "Prescribed burning" means the planned application of fire to naturally occurring vegetative fuels under specified environmental conditions and following appropriate precautionary measures, which causes the fire to be confined to a predetermined area and accomplish the planned land management objectives.
    (b) "Certified prescribed burn manager" means an individual who successfully completes an approved training program and receives proper certification.
    (c) "Prescription" means a written plan for conducting a prescribed burn.
    (d) "Department" means the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.
(Source: P.A. 95-108, eff. 8-13-07.)

525 ILCS 37/15

    (525 ILCS 37/15)
    Sec. 15. Requirements; liability.
    (a) Before conducting a prescribed burn under this Act, a person shall:
        (1) obtain the written consent of the landowner;
        (2) have a written prescription approved by a
certified prescribed burn manager;
        (3) have at least one certified prescribed burn
manager present on site with a copy of the prescription while the burn is being conducted;
        (4) notify the local fire department, county
dispatcher, 911 dispatcher, or other designated emergency dispatcher on the day of the prescribed burn; and
        (5) make a reasonable attempt to notify all adjoining
property owners and occupants of the date and time of the prescribed burn.
    (b) The property owner and any person conducting a prescribed burn under this Act shall be liable for any actual damage or injury caused by the fire or resulting smoke upon proof of negligence.
    (c) Any prescribed burning conducted under this Act:
        (1) is declared to be in the public interest;
        (2) does not constitute a public or private nuisance
when conducted in compliance with Section 9 of the Environmental Protection Act and all other State statutes and rules applicable to prescribed burning; and
        (3) is a property right of the property owner if
naturally occurring vegetative fuels are used.
(Source: P.A. 95-108, eff. 8-13-07.)

525 ILCS 37/20

    (525 ILCS 37/20)
    Sec. 20. Rules. The Department, in consultation with the Office of the State Fire Marshal, shall promulgate rules to implement this Act, including but not limited to, rules governing prescribed burn manager certification and revocation and rules governing prescribed burn prescriptions.
(Source: P.A. 95-108, eff. 8-13-07; 95-876, eff. 8-21-08.)

525 ILCS 37/25

    (525 ILCS 37/25)
    Sec. 25. Exemption. Nothing in this Act shall be construed as:
        (1) requiring certification as a prescribed burn
manager to conduct prescribed burning on one's own property or on the lands of another with the landowner's permission; Section 15(b) shall not apply to prescribed burns conducted under the exemption in this item (1);
        (2) affecting any obligations or liability under the
Environmental Protection Act or any rules adopted thereunder, or under any federal laws or rules that apply to prescribed burning; or
        (3) superseding any local burning law.
(Source: P.A. 95-108, eff. 8-13-07.)

525 ILCS 37/30

    (525 ILCS 37/30)
    Sec. 30. Fees. The Department may charge and collect fees from persons applying for safety training and certification as a certified prescribed burn manager.
(Source: P.A. 95-108, eff. 8-13-07.)

525 ILCS 37/35

    (525 ILCS 37/35)
    Sec. 35. Severability. The provisions of this Act are severable under Section 1.31 of the Statute on Statutes.
(Source: P.A. 95-108, eff. 8-13-07.)

525 ILCS 37/99

    (525 ILCS 37/99)
    Sec. 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect upon becoming law.
(Source: P.A. 95-108, eff. 8-13-07.)