March 1, 2006
SPRINGTIME REQUIRES INCREASED SAFETY WHEN BURNING OUTDOORS
COLUMBUS, OH - Ohioans planning to burn debris outdoors this spring are urged to take extra precautions and follow the state’s outdoor burning regulations, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Forestry.
Ohio law states that outdoor debris burning is prohibited between the hours of 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. during the months of March, April, May, and in October, and November. Burning is limited during these periods because of the abundance of fuel on the ground. In the spring, moisture-rich vegetation has not yet arrived, and in the fall, dried leaves provide fuel for a fire. The weather is generally drier and windier during these months as well.
“People choosing to burn outdoors must take all reasonable precautions to prevent a fire from escaping control,” said John Dorka, chief of the Division of Forestry. “The recent rash of wildfires in southern Ohio is a prime example of how critical it is that outdoor burns be attended until safely extinguished. I urge people to remember the ABC’s of fire prevention: Always Be Careful.”
Escaped fires may be investigated and responsible persons are subject to prosecution. Each year, about 800 wildfires burn nearly 4,500 acres of forest and grassland in Ohio.
The Division of Forestry offers the following safety tips and guidelines for burning outdoors, where and when such burning is permitted:
- Be informed of state and local burning regulations.
- Know current and future weather conditions, and have suppression tools at hand.
- Consider using a 55-gallon drum with a weighted screen lid to provide an enclosed trash incinerator.
- Consult the local fire department for additional helpful information and safety considerations.
- Check to see if the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency might also have burning regulations that may apply.