“Open burning” is the burning of unwanted materials such as paper, trees, brush, leaves, grass, and other debris where smoke and other emissions are released directly into the air. During open burning, air pollutants do not pass through a chimney or stack and/or combustion of solid waste is not adequately controlled.
Open burning pollutes the air and poses a forest fire hazard. The air pollution created by open burning can irritate eyes and lungs, obscure visibility, soil nearby surfaces, create annoying odors or pose other nuisance or health threats.
Because of the problems created by this activity, state and local laws prohibit open burning of many materials. Many people are either unaware of the regulations or unsure about which regulations apply to them. The following information will help identify the problems, regulations, sources of information, and alternatives to open burning.