Barbecues, campfires, and cookouts are great—when open burning fires are safe and within state and township regulations. And one can make an argument for fires to rid properties of excess brush or waste. However, there are a few things to consider before lighting any open burning fire in Dover Township.

It is illegal statewide to burn the following: garbage—waste created in the process of handing, preparing, cooking, or consuming food; anything containing rubber, grease or asphalt; anything made from petroleum (like tires, cars, auto parts, and plastic); or deceased animals unless approval by a governing agency has been provided for the purpose of disease control.

Fires for barbecues, campfires, and cookout should not exceed 2 feet high and 3 feet wide and should be made with clean seasoned firewood.

Fires for agricultural or residential waste must contain only waste generated on-site and be more than 1,000 feet from neighboring inhabited buildings. If an agricultural pile exceeds 20 feet wide by 10 feet high or a residential pile exceeds 10 cubic feet, permission to burn the pile must be requested from the Ohio EPA.

Because open burning can release many kinds of toxic fumes or send millions of spores into the air, it is always best to consider an alternative method to open burning. The Ohio EPA recommends reducing the amount of residential waste generated (consider reusing cloth grocery bags instead of burning paper ones) and reusing or recycling items. They also suggest composting in lieu of agricultural fires.

As always, have a safe and happy fall season. For more information about open burning regulations in the State of Ohio, visit epa.ohio.gov or contact the Southeast District Office at 740.385.8501.