Jackson Township Spotlight: Keep Ohio EPA rules in mind when open burning

Randy Little
Jackson Township Fire Department

The Jackson Township Fire Department experiences increased open burning and smoke-related complaints during the winter months. Although open burning is not entirely prohibited, the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency has some regulations that must be followed for legal open burning. 

Most concerns and inquiries we receive this time of year are regarding fire-pit use for recreational purposes, warmth and burning leaves.

Randy Little

Fires are permitted for cooking, warmth, recreation, ceremonial and similar purposes without notification or permission from the Ohio EPA if only clean, dry and seasoned firewood is used. Fire size cannot exceed 3 feet in diameter and 2 feet in height. Fire may not be used for waste disposal. Any fire should be kept a minimum of 10 feet from combustible materials and structures.

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Burning leaves and yard waste is not permitted within city limits. In the unincorporated township area, leaves and yard waste may be burned only if fires are more than 1,000 feet from a neighbor's nearest inhabited building. Written permission must be obtained from the Ohio EPA if a pile of material to be burned is greater than 10 by 10 by 10 feet. 

Most importantly, be considerate of what direction smoke is traveling. The fire department frequently receives complaints about smoke entering a home from a neighbor's fire pit or open burning. This usually can be avoided by burning only when the winds are calm and humidity is low. You might be required to extinguish your fire if the fire department receives a complaint whether you reside within the city limits or in the township's unincorporated area.

Go to jacksontwp.org or epa.ohio.gov/dapc/general/openburning for a complete list of the Ohio EPA's open-burning requirements. 

Jackson Township Fire Department Chief Randy Little can be reached at 614-875-5588 or littler@jacksontwp.org.