Use Caution When Burning Leaves, Brush
As winter approaches, many Ohioans are clearing fallen leaves, brush and other yard waste from their properties. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources and Ohio EPA remind everyone to use caution to prevent wildfires and risks to public health.
It is important to follow Ohio’s open burning regulations. Ohio EPA regulations prohibit burning leaves and other yard waste within a municipal corporation or a restricted area near a municipality. Rules also prohibit open burning within 1,000 feet of an inhabited building on a neighboring property.
Brush, tree trimmings and leaves may be burned only on the property where they are generated if boundary requirements are met. Garbage, dead animals or material containing rubber, grease or petroleum (such as tires) cannot be burned in Ohio.
ODNR regulations prohibit burning outdoor debris from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. during October and November. Burning is limited during the fall because of the abundance of dry leaves, grass and weedy vegetative fuel on the ground.
Use common sense. Never start an open fire on a windy day. Have fire suppression tools, such as a garden hose, rakes and shovels, on hand. Consider burning in a container such as a 55-gallon drum covered with a screen and keep a 10- foot clearing around the burn site.
In addition to the risk of wildfires, smoke from open burning can carry toxic fumes and ash that can be inhaled deeply into the lungs, causing breathing difficulties, especially for people with lung or heart problems. Also, gases released by open burning can corrode metal siding and damage paint on buildings.
Violators of Ohio’s burning regulations are subject to citations and fines. It also is important to know any local open burning laws before starting. Local ordinances can be stricter than state law, but not less so.
For more information, contact:
Linda Oros, Ohio EPA, (614) 644-2160
Greg Smith, ODNR Division of Forestry, (614) 265-6706