Rules regarding open burning

January and February are two months when farmers and rural residents may need to dispose of tree trimmings, brush, weeds or other agricultural waste through open burning. The Ohio EPA allows for burning of these types of wastes on farms, fields and open land at least one mile outside city limits. Other limitations like weather and air quality alerts must also be considered before planning an open burn.

However, this does not mean that anything can be burned, according to Ohio Farm Bureau Policy Counsel Leah Curtis.

“You should never burn garbage, rubber, grease, asphalt, liquid petroleum products, buildings of any kind, dead animals, animal waste or pesticides, unless burning is specifically recommended on its label to dispose of the pesticide,” she said.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources has a burn ban in place in rural areas from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. in March, April, May, October and November, Curtis said.

“During the burn ban, you shouldn’t be burning unless you are in a plowed field more than 200 feet from woodlands or brush,” she said. “These are times of the year where it’s really windy and fire could spread easily, or it’s really dry and fire could spread easily.”

Regardless of what and when you burn, Curtis said it is a good idea to alert the local fire department so it is aware if something should happen during the open burn or if neighbors call concerned about fire or smoke that can be seen from their homes.

Check out the landowner toolkit for a full explanation of the regulations of open burning in Ohio.

More information about open burning laws and other topics of interest to landowners can be found in the members-only Landowner Tool Kit, available at county Farm Bureau offices or online.

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