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ODNR Urges Caution During Ohio’s Fall Wildfire Season


COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) is urging Ohioans to learn about the state’s outdoor burning regulations and to take precautions if they are planning to burn debris this fall. Ohio law states that most outdoor debris burning is prohibited in unincorporated areas from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. during October and November (Ohio Revised Code 1503.18).
“A major cause of escaped wildfires in Ohio during the fall is the careless burning of trash and debris,” Fire Program Administrator and Assistant Chief for the ODNR Division of Forestry Greg Guess said. “Unnecessary risk to people and property can be minimized by following safe burning practices and being aware of the burning regulations.”

Burning is limited in the fall due to the abundance of dry grass, weeds, and leaves on the ground. Gusty winds and low humidity can make a seemingly safe fire burn more intensely and escape control. If a fire does escape control, contact the local fire department immediately. An escaped wildfire, even one burning in grass or weeds, is dangerous.
The ODNR Division of Forestry offers these safety tips for burning debris outdoors:

  • Know current and future weather conditions, have tools and water on hand, and never leave a debris burn unattended.
  • Be informed about state and local burning regulations.
  • Consult the local fire department for additional information and safety considerations.
  • Visit the Ohio Division of Forestry’s website and for more information and tips on protecting your home and community.
  • Consider safe alternatives for debris disposal, such as composting.
  • If you choose to burn during unrestricted hours, use a 55-gallon drum with a weighted screen lid to provide an enclosed incinerator.
  • Remember: “Only you can prevent wildfires!”

Residents should check the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency’s open burn regulations prior to any outdoor fire and consult with local fire officials about burning conditions in the area. Food waste, dead animals, and materials containing rubber, grease, asphalt, or petroleum should never be burned. Violators of Ohio’s burning regulations are subject to citations and fines.
The Ohio Division of Forestry promotes the wise use and sustainable management of Ohio’s public and private woodlands. To learn more about Ohio’s woodlands, visit

ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR website at

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