Air Quality Matters!
Burning leaves in backyard

Open Burning of Storm Debris is Prohibited in City Limits

Published: 31 May 2019

Many communities are faced with the task of disposing of large quantities of debris from the recent storms. Ohio has strict rules prohibiting the open burning of any waste material, including storm debris, within city limits. Storm debris includes any and all materials such as trees, brush, building materials, and trash.

Open burning contributes to the overall degradation of our air quality and causes breathing difficulties for those suffering from respiratory illnesses like asthma, emphysema, and bronchitis. It can also cause safety concerns with fire hazards that can cause further property damage and smoke that can reduce visibility on nearby roads, especially when there is limited access to water for fire protection.

If you are located outside city limits, please contact RAPCA at 937-225-4435 to get guidance.

Please contact your local municipalities for information concerning disposal methods and available assistance.

RAPCA enforces state and local open burning regulations, which includes: the issuance of open burning permissions, compliance assistance to the community, investigations of open burning complaints, and when necessary, initiating enforcement actions for violations.

By definition, any outdoor fire without a chimney or stack is considered open burning.  Open burning can release many kinds of toxic fumes. When leaves and plant materials are burned, millions of spores are released into the air making it difficult for people with allergies and respiratory diseases to breath.  Open burning also makes it more difficult to meet health-based air quality standards, especially in or near large cities.

Residents interested in open burning for the purpose of waste disposal must meet all the requirements of Ohio Administrative Code 3745-19 Open Burning Standards and must follow the specific terms and condition on the on the open burning permissions page.

Fire Training

Fire training exercises are extremely valuable activities for local fire departments to promote safety and enhance the knowledge and skills needed to better protect fire fighters and the citizens they serve. If you are a fire department seeking permission to hold a fire training exercise, pdf please download our fire training packet (15.17 MB) for detailed instructions. Additional guidance can be found in  pdf Ohio EPA's Office of Compliance Assistance and Pollution Prevention "Burning Down the House" (1.28 MB)  fact sheet.



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