Section Menu
Programs

Open Burning

open-burning

Open burning is prohibited in Jefferson County from May through October.  Open burning during other months requires prior approval from the Jefferson County Department of Health.

Why is Open Burning Prohibited in Jefferson County?
It may seem that burning one small leaf pile would not be reason for concern, but many small fires significantly contribute to the area’s air pollution emissions.  Air pollution from open burning can cause serious health problems and damage the environment.  The smoke from open burning may not bother you but it could be an issue or a serious health threat for your neighbors, especially if they are children or have any respiratory and/or cardiovascular ailments.

What’s the Law?
The Jefferson County Board of Health Air Pollution Control Rules and Regulations (Chapter 5) prohibit outdoor burning, except for the purposes of food preparation, from May through October when air quality is typically at its worst.  Authorizations issued to open burn in Jefferson County during November through April require adherence to strict rules regarding location and equipment required.  Improper burning could result in substantial monetary penalties.

What Can I Do Instead of Burning?
By making a few sensible choices, you can reduce the amount of throw-away material you create.

  • Reduce
    -Look for items with less packaging.
    -Buy items in packaging that can be reused or recycled.
  • Reuse
    -Donate clothes, shoes, books, appliances, electronics, furniture, and toys to charity.
    -Use a coffee mug instead of a disposable cup.
    -Bring your own cloth bags to the store or reuse plastic bags.
  • Recycle
    -If your community provides a recycling service, consider participating or take recyclables to your nearest recycling center.
  • Compost
    -Leaves and grass clippings can be turned into food for your garden or houseplants.
    -Instead of burning old pallets, tie four pallets together to build a compost bin.
  • Landfill
    -Items that cannot be reused or recycled should be taken to a licensed landfill.

To request evaluation of a proposed open burning site or to report smoke nuisance please call (205) 930-1276.