ODNR urges open burning precautions


COLUMBUS – The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) urges Ohioans to learn about the state’s outdoor burning regulations and to take precautions if they are planning to burn debris this spring. Ohio law states outdoor debris burning is prohibited from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. during March, April and May.

Burning is limited in the spring due to the abundance of dry grass, weeds and leaves on the ground. Winds can make a seemingly safe fire burn more intensely and escape control.

“Outdoor trash and debris fires can escape control quite easily,” said Greg Guess, fire program administrator and deputy chief for the ODNR Division of Forestry. “An awareness of safety tips and the burning regulations can help prevent unnecessary risk.”

If a fire does escape control, immediately contact the local fire department. An 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’s regulations, which include additional restrictions, and people should consult with local fire officials about burning conditions.

The ODNR Division of Forestry offers these safety tips for burning debris outdoors:

• Use a 55-gallon drum with a weighted screen lid to provide an enclosed incinerator.

• 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 forestry.ohiodnr.gov and firewise.org for more information and tips on protecting a home and community.

• Remember: “Don’t burn during the day in March, April and May!”

Ohioans should also remember that food waste, dead animals and materials containing rubber, grease, asphalt or petroleum should never be burned.