October 2, 2006
OHIO’S FALL WILDFIRE SEASON ARRIVES
ODNR advises public to observe outdoor burning rules in October and November
COLUMBUS, OH - Ohioans living in rural areas who plan to burn debris outdoors this fall are urged to take extra precautions and follow the state’s outdoor burning regulations, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Forestry.
“Ohio typically has around 800 wildfires reported each year,” said John Dorka, chief of the ODNR Division of Forestry. “During this year’s spring fire season alone, some 640 reported wildfires burned more than 3,200 acres in Ohio.”
Fall is an especially dangerous time since fallen leaves and dry grasses are good tinder for wildfires. Dry conditions will persist until colder and wetter weather arrives. Ohio’s burning regulations reflect these seasonal changes, Dorka added.
Ohio law prohibits open debris fires from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. during October and November in the fall, and March, April and May in the spring.
With warm and dry conditions, a little wind can easily cause a debris fire to spread to nearby fields and woods. If a fire does escape control, the local fire department should be notified immediately. Any escaped wildfire, even one burning in grass or weeds, is dangerous. Violators of Ohio’s burning regulations are subject to citations and fines. Residents should also check Ohio Environmental Protection Agency regulations and consult with local fire officials before burning anything outdoors.