What types of open burning are permitted in restricted areas?

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

  • Bonfires, campfires, and outdoor fireplace equipment, whether for cooking food for human consumption, pleasure, religious, ceremonial, warmth, recreational, or similar purposes are allowed as long as the fire is composted only of clean, seasoned firewood, is not set for waste disposal purposes, and is not larger than 3 feet by 3 feet.
  • By notifying Ohio EPA in advance, fires set to train firefighters, to dispose of certain ignitable or explosive materials, or to dispose of poisons such as pesticides and their containers are allowed with prior written permission from Ohio EPA. Recognized horticultural, silvicultural, range, or wildlife management practices, involving burning, also are allowed with prior written permission from Ohio EPA. This permission may take two weeks to obtain. Ohio EPA is represented by five district offices and nine local air agencies.
  • Fires intended to control disease or pests 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

  • Agricultural wastes: material generated by crop, horticultural, or livestock production practices. This includes such items as wood debris and plant matter from stream flooding, bags, cartons, structural materials, and landscape wastes that are generated in agricultural activities. Agricultural waste does not include land clearing waste; buildings (including dismantled/fallen barns); garbage; dead animals; animal waste; motor vehicles and parts thereof.
  • 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 that 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.

Additional Procedures

  • No open burning can take place within 1,000 feet of an inhabited building located off the 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.

Show All Answers

1. What does the Ohio EPA consider "open burning"?
2. Why do Ohio laws prohibit some many types of open burning?
3. What materials can never be burned?
4. What types of open burning are permitted in restricted areas?
5. Does Ohio EPA ever allow exceptions?
6. Can a community enact local ordinances to allow open burning?
7. What will happen to me if I am caught illegally open burning?