2021 Illinois Compiled Statutes
Chapter 425 - FIRE SAFETY
425 ILCS 40/ - Forest Fire Protection District Act.

(425 ILCS 40/0.01) (from Ch. 96 1/2, par. 7000)

Sec. 0.01. Short title. This Act may be cited as the Forest Fire Protection District Act.

(Source: P.A. 86-1324.)


(425 ILCS 40/1) (from Ch. 96 1/2, par. 7001)

Sec. 1. As used in this Act:

"Director" means the Director of Natural Resources.

"Department" means the Department of Natural Resources.

"Forest fires" means uncontrolled, wild or running fires occurring on forest, marsh, field, cutover or other lands.

"District" means a geographic area determined by the Director to be in need of special protection from forest fires and designated as an intensive forest fire prevention district in accordance with this Act.

"Forest fire warden" means any district, local or emergency forest fire warden.

(Source: P.A. 89-445, eff. 2-7-96.)


(425 ILCS 40/2) (from Ch. 96 1/2, par. 7002)

Sec. 2. Whenever the Director determines that geographic areas of contiguous territory within the State are in need of special protection from forest fires, the Director may order the establishment of one or more intensive forest fire protection districts, consisting of one or more counties or a portion or portions thereof, in such area. No such district may include any part of any territory of any forest preserve district or park district or successor thereof except for any land which was leased from the Department. The boundaries of each district so established shall be defined in the order of the Director and notice of the establishment of the District and its boundaries shall be published once each week for 3 successive weeks in one or more newspapers published in the district or having a general circulation therein and such additional notice may be given as the Director deems necessary, after which notice the establishment of such district shall be recorded in the office of recorder in each county wholly or partly within the District established.

(Source: P.A. 83-358.)


(425 ILCS 40/3) (from Ch. 96 1/2, par. 7003)

Sec. 3. Whenever the Director deems a forest fire hazard to exist in any district he may issue a proclamation declaring it unlawful within the district, during the period covered by the proclamation, to set on fire or cause to be set on fire, any woods, brush, grass, grain, weeds or stubble without first having obtained a burning permit issued by a forest fire warden for the District in which such burning shall take place.

Public notice of such proclamation shall be given by publication in one or more newspapers having a general circulation within the district and by posting such proclamation conspicuously in public places. Any person violating this Section, shall, upon conviction be fined not to exceed $1,000 or be imprisoned in a penal institution other than the penitentiary not exceeding 6 months, or both.

(Source: P.A. 77-1732.)


(425 ILCS 40/4) (from Ch. 96 1/2, par. 7004)

Sec. 4. The Director may appoint and fix the compensation of district, local and emergency forest fire wardens; provided that local and emergency forest fire wardens shall be paid an hourly compensation for time actually spent on the activity for which they are appointed. The jurisdiction of each district forest fire warden shall extend throughout the District to which he is appointed; the jurisdiction of each local and emergency forest fire warden shall extend throughout such territory as the Director may designate. Any local or emergency forest fire warden may be summarily removed from office by the Director at any time, and shall receive no compensation for services rendered after receipt of notice of such removal unless otherwise provided by the Director.

(Source: P.A. 77-1732.)


(425 ILCS 40/6) (from Ch. 96 1/2, par. 7006)

Sec. 6. The Department shall supervise all forest fire wardens, shall instruct them in their duties, shall enforce all laws of the State for the prevention and suppression of forest fires, shall promulgate and adopt rules and regulations for the issuance of burning permits by forest fire wardens, shall cause to be prosecuted persons violating such laws, rules and regulations, and may employ or order the employment of such persons and procure or order the procuring of such materials at reasonable rates as is deemed necessary to carry out the provisions of this Act.

Any person employed or appointed under this Act and who is not otherwise employed by the State of Illinois, or who, being otherwise employed by the State of Illinois is not ordinarily paid for his services, and who suffers injury or death arising out of and in the course of his employment under this Act shall, for the purpose of benefits under the "Workers' Compensation Act", approved July 9, 1951, as heretofore or hereafter amended, be deemed an employee of the State of Illinois.

(Source: P.A. 81-1509.)


(425 ILCS 40/7) (from Ch. 96 1/2, par. 7007)

Sec. 7. It is the duty of each forest fire warden to prevent and extinguish forest fires occurring in the area assigned to him, to assist in the enforcement within that area of all laws for the prevention and suppression of forest fires, to issue burning permits in accordance with rules and regulations promulgated and adopted by the Department, and upon order by the Director to assist any other forest fire warden in suppressing and extinguishing forest fires within the district or local area assigned to such other warden.

(Source: Laws 1957, p. 2407.)


(425 ILCS 40/8) (from Ch. 96 1/2, par. 7008)

Sec. 8. All employees of the Department, including all forest fire wardens, and all law enforcement officers in the State of Illinois, shall arrest any person who violates any provision of this Act, any administrative order issued pursuant to this Act or any other law of this State designed to prevent and suppress forest fires and shall bring such person forthwith before a judge of the circuit court, who shall proceed without unreasonable delay to hear and determine the matter as in other cases of misdemeanor.

(Source: P.A. 79-1362.)


(425 ILCS 40/9) (from Ch. 96 1/2, par. 7009)

Sec. 9. While engaged in controlling or extinguishing forest fires, any forest fire warden may enter upon the lands of any person, firm, private or municipal corporation or the State of Illinois to carry out his duties. He may set backfires, cut fire lanes and employ any other customary and accepted method of suppressing and extinguishing forest fires. Forest fire wardens or other persons employed by the Department for the purpose of extinguishing and suppressing forest fires shall not be personally liable for any act required or permitted to be done under the provisions of this Act, while acting within the scope of their duties, unless such actions causing injury are maliciously and wilfully or wantonly inflicted.

(Source: P.A. 77-1732.)


(425 ILCS 40/10) (from Ch. 96 1/2, par. 7010)

Sec. 10. It is unlawful for any person to kindle or authorize any other person to kindle a fire in the open air outside the limits of any city, village or incorporated town within an intensive fire protection district, except on land owned or controlled by a railroad corporation when the fire is for the purpose of clearing its right of way of dangerous combustible materials, during the months of February, March, April, October and November, or during such other times when fire hazard conditions are declared to exist by order of the Director in accordance with this Act, without first having obtained a burning permit issued by a forest fire warden for the District in which such burning shall take place, the burning in such case to be in strict compliance with the terms of the permit. Such permit is not required for the kindling of a fire in a plowed field, garden or public highway when such fire is kindled at a distance of 200 feet or more from any woodland, brush land or field containing dry grass or other combustible material. Any person violating this Section shall be guilty of a Class B misdemeanor.

(Source: P.A. 78-255.)


(425 ILCS 40/11) (from Ch. 96 1/2, par. 7011)

Sec. 11. Nothing in this Act shall be so construed as to relieve the owners or lessees of lands upon which fires may burn or be started, from the duty of extinguishing such fires so far as it may be within their power.

(Source: Laws 1957, p. 2407.)


(425 ILCS 40/12) (from Ch. 96 1/2, par. 7012)

Sec. 12. No owner or lessee of land upon which fire may burn or be started, nor any person during employment with such owner or lessee, shall be compensated under this Act for extinguishing fire upon his land or the land to which his interest is attached. No person who is responsible for the spreading of a fire to a woodland, forest or other land, nor any person in his employ may receive compensation under this Act for helping to extinguish such fires.

(Source: Laws 1957, p. 2407.)

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