Chief: Open burning restrictions in effect in the state of Ohio

By Ashley Bunton -

Open burning restrictions are in effect in the state of Ohio for the months of March, April and May. Open burning is not permitted between the hours of 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. during the months of March, April and May.

Chris Wysong, Wayne Township fire chief, said this ban includes the burning of yard waste, trash, and debris, even in a proper burn barrel.

These instructions are in adherence to state law, cited in Ohio Revised Code Section 1503.18.

“Even outside the time and date restrictions, any person conducting a burn must obtain landowner permission, remain with the fire while it is burning, and take all reasonable precautions to prevent the fire from escaping,” said Wysong.

There are some things that are never allowed to be burned in the state of Ohio, regardless of the time of year: food waste, dead animals, materials containing rubber, grease, asphalt, or made from petroleum. No waste generated off of the premises may be burned.

Other restrictions on open burning that are in effect year-round include the following: fires have to be more than 1,000 feet from any neighbor’s inhabited building. There is no burning allowed when an air pollution alert, warning or emergency is in effect. Additionally fire or the smoke from a fire cannot obscure the visibility on a roadway, railway or airfield.

Wysong advises residents to call the Fayette County Sheriff’s non-emergency number at 740-335-6170 to be connected to their local volunteer fire department representative.

Wayne Township Fire Rescue has only responded to two fires recently involving unauthorized material, according to Wysong.

“This hasn’t been an issue this year for the county, however, as the weather warms up we historically experience an increase in unauthorized fires. Last weekend we responded to a field fire that was caused by an unauthorized fire left unattended. When we investigate a burning complaint, we always provide information to the residents of the burn laws. Typically we prefer to educate of these laws as a warning the first time,” said Wysong.

He said that every fire is reported to the state fire marshal’s office, and if unauthorized burning continues the fire department will report the occurrence to the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency which can result in substantial penalties.

“The unique rule that warrants residents be reminded, is the ban of open burning from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the months of March, April, May, October and November. This ban includes authorized materials outlined and includes the weekends. Any resident who wishes to have an open burn of authorized material must call the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office prior to lighting. The sheriff’s office will then patch the call through to an officer of the resident’s local fire department,” said Wysong.

By Ashley Bunton

Reach Ashley at (740) 313-0355 or on Twitter @ashbunton

Reach Ashley at (740) 313-0355 or on Twitter @ashbunton