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Open Burn Guidelines

Can I have a bon fire or burn leaves, tree branches or brush?

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Yes and No.The Beavercreek Township Fire Department (BTFD) enforces the Ohio Fire Code's (OFC) Open Burn Guidelines which regulate what can and cannot be burned in the City of Beavercreek and Beavercreek Township. The BTFD has put together the following summary of Ohio's Open Burn Guidelines.

Recreational fires (cook-outs) are permitted in both the City of Beavercreek and Beavercreek Township. Recreational fires cannot be larger than 3 feet in diameter and a maximum of 2 feet in height and can only burn for a maximum of 3 hours. This type of fire does not require a permit.
Ceremonial fires (bonfires) are also permitted. Examples of ceremonial fires are flag decommissioning, Boy Scout ceremonies, etc. These fires may be a maximum of 5 feet in diameter and a maximum of 5 feet in height and can only burn for a maximum of 3 hours. This type of fire does require a permit from the fire department.

There are a few regulations you should be aware of for any type of open burn:

  1. Only use clean, dry wood for the fire.
  2. Never burn yard waste (grass, tree limbs, leaves, etc.), garbage, furniture, asphalt shingles, construction waste, tires, plastic, or dead animals.
  3. The burning of materials containing rubber, grease, asphalt, liquid petroleum products, plastics, or building material is prohibited.
  4. Have a means to extinguish the fire close by (garden hose, fire extinguisher, or bucket of sand or dirt).
  5. Have adult supervision at all times.
  6. Make sure the area around the fire is clear of all combustibles and that the open burning is no closer than 25 feet to any structure for recreational fires and 50 feet for bonfires (ceremonial fires). Fires in containers (warming fires) shall be a minimum of 15 feet from a structure.
  7. Open burning shall be prohibited when an air alert, warning, or emergency is in effect.
  8. Fire pits and charcoal grills do not generally fall under the category of an open burn. However, only clean wood or charcoal should used in a fire pit or grill.
  9. Also, contact the Beavercreek Police/Fire Dispatch before you start burning at 937-426-1211.

Also, be aware that even if your fire is within the legal limits, there are still some instances where the fire department will ask you to extinguish the fire. Those instances include if smoke from a fire is bothering a neighbor or creating a roadway hazard.

Another type of legal open burn requires a permit from the Regional Air Pollution Control Agency (RAPCA). These types of fires are generally termed “vegetation burn off”. They can be used to clear overgrown vegetation, for agricultural management, or for fire prevention measures. The regulations for obtaining these types are permits are solely determined by RAPCA. They can be contacted at 937-225-4435.

Any type of fire that does not fall within the above guidelines is considered an illegal open burn. If the fire department determines that a fire is illegal, they will either ask you to immediately extinguish the fire or they will extinguish it for you. Multiple offenses by the same property owner will result in the fire department turning that person in to RAPCA. This can result in citations and fines.

Feel free to have a cook-out in your back yard this summer. Just be aware of and follow the regulations. Also, be aware of the weather conditions. If it is a windy day, it is not a good idea to start a fire. The wind can blow the flames to nearby vegetation or a building and quickly cause a small fire to become out of control. Open burning of any kind is prohibited on air pollution advisory days. Make sure that you are aware of your surroundings as well. If your neighbors are close by, it’s a good idea to let them know you will be having a cook-out. Let them know when and for how long, and also ask them to let you know if the smoke bothers them.

If you have questions about whether your fire is permitted or not, contact the Beavercreek Township Fire Department at 937-426-1627 or email at BFD-PreventionBureau@beavercreektownship.org.