Open Burning Permitted

What Types of Open Burning Are Permitted Anywhere?

A few types of open burning are permitted everywhere, even in restricted areas. Fires must be kept to a minimum size for their intended purpose, and shall not be used for waste disposal purposes.

Within a Restricted Area

Permitted burning includes:
  • Cooking for human consumption (barbecues, campfires, cookouts)
  • Heating tar
  • Welding and acetylene torches
  • Smudge pots and similar occupational needs
  • Heating for warmth of outdoor workers and strikers
Use common sense: use only clean wood and restrict the size of the fire so it can be contained in a 55-gallon drum.

By notifying Ohio EPA in advance, ceremonial fires can be set for limited periods of time. Fires must be limited in size to 5 feet by 5 feet and may not burn for more than three hours.

Under certain circumstances, fires set to train firefighters, to dispose of certain ignitable or explosive material, or to dispose of poisons such as pesticides and their containers are allowed with prior written permission from the EPA. (Even the Fire Department must obtain permission to burn)

Recognized horticultural, silvicultural, range, or wildlife management practices, involving burning, also are allowed with prior written permission from the Ohio EPA. This permission may take two weeks to obtain. Fires intended to control disease or pest may be set if the local health department, the Ohio Department of Agriculture, or the U.S. Department of Agriculture verifies to Ohio EPA that open burning is the only appropriate control methods.

Outside a Restricted Area

The following types of wastes generated on the premises can be burned: Agricultural wastes: material generated by crop, horticulture, or livestock production practices. This includes fence posts and scrap lumber but not buildings. This includes landscape wastes: plant matter such as tree trimmings, branches, stumps brush, weeds, leaves grass, shrubbery, yard trimmings, and crop residues.

Land clearing wastes: plant matter which is removed when land is cleared for residential, commercial, or industrial development. This material may be burned only under certain circumstances and with prior written permission.

From Ohio EPA

  • Residential waste: wastes such as wood or paper products that are generated by one-, two-, or three- family residences.
  • Garbage may not be open burned.
  • No open burning can take place within 1,000 feet of an inhabited building located off property where the fire is set. Nor can the fire obscure visibility for roadways, railroad tracks, or air fields.
  • No wastes generated off the premises may be burned. For example, a tree trimming contractor may not haul branches and limbs to another site to burn them.
  • Open burning is prohibited when air pollution warnings, alerts, or emergencies are in effect.