COLUMBUS, OH - Ohioans planning to burn debris outdoors this fall are reminded that outdoor burning is prohibited in rural areas between the hours of 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. during the months of October and November, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).
"Ohio has an average of about 1,000 forest or brush fires each year, burning an estimated 3 to 5 acres per fire," said John Dorka, chief of ODNR's Division of Forestry. "In the fall and spring season, Ohio woodlands are especially susceptible to fire. A majority of these wildfires are caused by carelessness and a failure to follow basic rules of safety."
Concerned with the potential for brush fires, forest fires, and air pollution, ODNR and the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) each enforce a different set of outdoor-burning laws for suburban and rural landowners. These laws restrict when, where and if a landowner can burn leaves or other debris.
Ohio EPA regulations also prohibit the burning of rubber, grease, asphalt and petroleum materials at any time during the year without agency permission. More information on Ohio EPA's open burning regulations is available at www.epa.state.oh.us/dapc/general/openburning.html
The Division of Forestry offers the following safety tips and guidelines for burning outdoors, where and when such burning is permitted:
- Clear the burning site of all flammable materials
- Use a proper burning container or barrel with a lid
- Clear a 10-foot area around the burning area
- Have water and hand tools ready in case fire escapes
- Avoid burning on windy days
- Do not burn within 200 feet of any woodland, brush or field containing dry grass
- Stay with the fire until it is out
- Take all responsible precautions
For specific information on burning laws, contact Ohio EPA at 614-728-1344 or the ODNR Division of Forestry at 614-265-6694. Individuals intending to do any open burning are also advised to consult their community fire departments for information regarding local ordinances.