DEEP and your local municipality limit open burning for public health and safety reasons. Open burning is defined as the burning of any matter in such a manner that the products of combustion resulting from the burning are emitted directly into the ambient air without passing through a stack or flue. Open burning pollutes the air and can make it difficult for people with respiratory problems to breathe, particularly for those in densely populated areas. Open burning can create nuisance odors and smoke that may adversely affect your neighbors. Loss of control in the midst of open burning can result in forest fire and destruction of property. When conducting any type of burning, the utmost caution must be exercised to prevent injury to yourself or family members, and to prevent damage to your home or any neighboring properties.
Open Burning Restrictions
Residents looking to burn must have a valid and signed permit from their local Open Burning Official. Cities and towns looking to burn brush at their DEEP permitted landfill, transfer station, or recycling center must have a valid and signed open burning permit from DEEP.
Open burning is not allowed
- to clear land prior to construction activities
- as a means to dispose of construction debris, household trash, or leaves.
- if the Air Quality Index (AQI) is forecasted to be 75 or higher anywhere in the state
- if the Forest Fire Danger Index is rated High, Very High, or Extreme
- if national or state ambient air quality standards may be exceeded
- if a hazardous health condition might be created
- if there is an advisory from DEEP of any air pollution episode
Do you have a complaint regarding open burning on residential property?
Smoke, nuisance odors, or other complaints regarding open burning on a residential piece of property are best directed to your local Fire Marshal and/or Open Burning Official. Please visit your town's website to obtain the appropriate contact information.
Issues or concerns relating to the health effects created or experienced during open burning should be directed to your local Open Burning Official as well as your local Health Department.
In the case of an emergency please call 911 or your local Fire Department.
Alternatives to Open Burning
Content Last Updated on: February 27, 2020