Open Burning Season Reminders
by Veronica Smith, Public Relations Intern
Fall is here, along with football games, tailgate parties and bonfires. The leaves will begin gathering in yards as they turn vibrant shades of orange and red. While it is tempting to burn the overabundance of leaves, many residents are unaware that the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA) has restrictions on what can and canít be burned.
The OEPA regulates open burning because smoke from fires can affect your health. Burning releases toxic chemicals and pollutants such as Particulate Matter, sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide and known carcinogens. Exposure to such pollutants can lead to adverse health effects. Health effects include kidney and liver damage, asthma, respiratory illness and impairment of the nervous system.
In instances when open burning cannot be avoided, make sure you are aware of what can and canít be burned and know that illegal open burning results in substantial penalties.
What can be burned?
- Wood stack ( 3x2 or smaller) used for barbeques, campfires and cookouts
- Agricultural wastes: tree trimmings, stumps, weeds, brush, leaves, grass, fence posts and scrap lumber. Must be 1,000 or more feet from neighbors inhabited building.
- Wood stack (5x5 or smaller) used for ceremonial fires with a duration of 3 hours or less
- Occupational fires: welding torches, heating tar, heating for warmth of outdoor workers and strikers
What canít be burned?
- Materials containing rubber, grease and asphalt
- Materials made from petroleum
- Dead animals
- Open burning is not allowed when air pollution warnings, alerts or emergencies are in effect
- Fires cannot obscure visibility for roadways, railroad trucks or airfields
- No wastes generated off of the premises may be burned
Additional instances for open burning may be permitted with prior written permission from the OEPA in cases of pest control, fire training and explosive material disposal. Fewer restrictions apply in rural areas and with written permission.
Be safe and smart when you chose to practice open burning by knowing the laws and regulations. For more information on open burning in your area, or to file a complaint about an illegal open burning, contact Mike Fair at (513) 946-7711, or visit our website at