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Open Air Burning

Open air burning is allowed in Kentucky, but a set of strict regulations has been put in place to help ensure safety of persons and the environment. Please contact us if you have any questions or wish to complete a burn permit.

Frequently asked questions.

What is open air burning?

Simply put, any time you light a fire outside, it is open air burning.

Why does anybody care what I burn?

Depending on the material being burned, open air burning causes the release of toxic materials into the environment. These toxins have been shown to cause serious health problems, including asthma and heart problems, and are especially hard on kids and the elderly.

What material can never be burned?

A partial list includes:
Construction debris
Drywall
Shingles
Asbestos
Painted or stained wood
Rubber
Wire
Oil
Tires
Plastics
Flammable liquids
Vinyl siding

For a complete list (click here)

Is there anything I am allowed to burn?

Yes, you are allowed to burn brush (weeds, tree limbs, leaves, etc.), plant beds, and household paper products.

Are there any restrictions?

Yes there are several restrictions, and beware, the Division for Air Quality can impose fines of up to $25,000 per day per violation of the law.
A partial list includes:

  • When a fire emergency is declared, all open burning is prohibited.
  • During fire hazard season, no burning is allowed within 150 ft of woodland areas except between the hours of 6pm-6am.
  • Do not burn within 50ft of any structure
  • No burning near landfills
  • No burning near utility poles
  • City of Mt. Sterling residents may burn only from 8am-5pm, M-F. No burning is allowed on weekends and the fire must be OUT by 5pm.
  • County residents may only burn during the hours of 6pm-6am, 7 days a week.
  • Someone is required to attend the fire AT ALL TIMES.

ABSOLUTELY NO BURNING OF MATERIALS OF ANY TYPE ON A RED FLAG DAY DESIGNATED BY THE KY DIVISION OF FORESTRY

ALL BURNING MUST FOLLOW GUIDELINES SET FORTH IN
KRS 149.375, KRS 149.380, KRS 149.400

For a complete list of restrictions, refer to the Ky. Division for Air Quality regulations