Open Burning

The Open Burning Program, under state regulations Chapter 10, Section 2, pertains to most small-scale burns. Large-scale vegetative burning, on the other hand, is regulated under the Smoke Management Program.

What Does Open Burning Cover?

This law restricts and places certain requirements on specific open burning practices including the burning of: Refuse, Trade wastes, Leaves and other vegetative material, Fire hazards, and Emergency purposes and salvage operations (for firefighter training).

Additionally, opening burning outlines penalties for unlawful open burning. It also explains exemptions for the following: Recreational purposes, Cooking of food, Providing warmth for human beings, Branding of animals, and Handheld fire extinguisher training

 

Open Burning Guidelines for Consideration

In addition to the regulatory requirements, we suggest you consider the following before beginning a burn:

  1. Allow people to make arrangements so that they can breathe more easily during the burn by contacting nearby businesses or other places where people congregate to let them know your plans.
     
  2. To minimize the impact from smoke, do not burn closer than 500 feet from another property.
     
  3. Conduct burning during daytime hours between one hour after sunrise and two hours before sunset.
     
  4. Check the wind direction and don’t begin your burn if wind would cause smoke to blow toward a neighboring residence, workplace or other place where people congregate.
     
  5. Don’t burn on very calm or cold days when there is likely to be an atmospheric inversion that will trap smoke near the ground.
     
  6. Burn in the morning when winds are minimal, so smoke will blow away with higher afternoon winds.
     
  7. Attend and observe the open burn at all times and take action (extinguish the burn or notify neighbors) if the smoke changes direction and may adversely impact neighbors. 
     

Several guides and instruction sheets have been developed to assist you in completing and filing the forms necessary to conduct open burning. Please review these documents in the resource section on the left.