Ohio’s Outdoor Burning Restrictions begin March 1

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Spring ushers in Wildfire Season

COLUMBUS, OH – Ohioans are urged to be aware of the state’s outdoor burning regulations and take necessary precautions if they are planning to burn debris, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), Division of Forestry.

Ohio law states that outdoor debris burning is prohibited from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. during March, April and May. Burning is limited in the spring due to the abundance of dry fuel on the ground. Spring breezes can make a seemingly safe burn quite hazardous.

“Most people are surprised to learn Ohio usually has about 500 spring wildfires, which burn around 3,000 acres annually,” said Robert Boyles, chief of the ODNR Division of Forestry. “Longer daylight hours, lower humidity and gusty spring winds increase the risk of wildfires. We urge caution when burning outside because it only takes a little wind to cause a debris fire to escape control and spread.”

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.

Violators of Ohio’s burning regulations are subject to citations and fines.

Consult with local fire officials about burning conditions. If a fire does escape control, immediately contact the local fire department. An escaped wildfire, even one burning in grass or weeds, is dangerous.

The ODNR Division of Forestry offers these safety tips for burning debris outdoors:

  • Consider using a 55-gallon drum with a weighted screen lid to provide an enclosed incinerator.
  • Know current and future weather conditions, have suppression tools on hand, and always stay nearby the debris burn.
  • Know state and local burning regulations.
  • Consult your local fire department for additional information and safety considerations.
  • Visit ohiodnr.com/forestry and www.firewise.org for more information and tips on protecting your rural home and community.
  • Remember— “Don’t burn during the day – March, April and May!”

Ohio grows more acres of trees than corn and soybeans combined. The ODNR Division of Forestry works to promote the wise use and sustainable management of Ohio’s public and private woodlands. To learn more about Ohio’s woodlands, visit ohiodnr.com/forestry.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR Web site at ohiodnr.com.