Open Burning

What is open burning?

You are open burning any time you light an outdoor fire without a chimney or a stack.

Why is open burning a problem?

Depending on what you burn, you could be releasing pollutants that can harm human health, corrode metals and damage paint, release annoying allergens, and be a nuisance to your neighbors. If an open fire goes out of control, it can damage property and threaten public safety.

What can I burn?

If you live in an area that does not have a local burning ordinance and you do not have curbside pickup, you can burn leaves and some household trash. Regulation 9VAC5-130-40 has a complete list of what and when households and certain businesses may burn.

What am I not allowed to burn?

  • No one in Virginia may burn tires or other hazardous materials at any time. Regulation 9VAC-130-30 has a complete list of opening burning prohibitions.
  • If you live in an area that restricts open burning, you must observe your local ordinance.
  • If you live in an area with a smog problem, there are specific prohibitions on certain activities during the prime smog months of May through September.

Whom do I contact with questions or problems?

What are the state rules for open burning in Virginia?

The State Air Pollution Control Board'sRegulation for Open Burning specifies what materials may or may not be burned, and has seasonal restrictions on open burning for certain localities. The Virginia Department of Forestry also has specific open burning restrictions.

What is better than burning?

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Virginia Department of
Environmental Quality
P.O. Box 1105
Richmond, VA 23218
(804) 698-4000


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