COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) is urging Ohioans to learn about the state’s outdoor burning regulations and to take precautions if they are planning to burn debris this fall. Ohio law states that most outdoor debris burning is prohibited in unincorporated areas from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. during October and November (Ohio Revised Code 1503.18).
“It’s important that people know the rules about burning during Ohio’s fall fire season to avoid unnecessary destruction to structures and property,” said Greg Guess, fire program administrator and assistant chief for the ODNR Division of Forestry. “People need to be cautious when performing any outdoor burns this time of year, because weather conditions and drying fuels, such as grasses and leaves, increase the potential for wildfires.”
Burning is limited in the fall due to the abundance of dry grass, weeds, and leaves on the ground. Gusty winds and low humidity can make a seemingly safe fire burn more intensely and escape control. If a fire does escape control, contact the local fire department immediately. 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:
- Know current and future weather conditions, have tools and water on hand, and never leave a debris burn unattended.
- Be informed about state and local burning regulations.
- Consult the local fire department for additional information and safety considerations.
- Visit the Ohio Division of Forestry’s website and firewise.org for more information and tips on protecting your home and community.
- Remember: “Only you can prevent wildfires!”
- If you choose to burn during unrestricted hours, use a 55-gallon drum with a weighted screen lid to provide an enclosed incinerator.
Residents should check Ohio Environmental Protection Agency’s open burn regulations prior to any outdoor fire and consult with local fire officials about burning conditions in the area. Food waste, dead animals, and materials containing rubber, grease, asphalt, or petroleum should never be burned. Violators of Ohio’s burning regulations are subject to citations and fines.