Burning Debris

Questions About Open Burning Related to Debris from Land Clearing

Can I burn closer than 250 feet to a highway?

I am less than 500 feet from occupied structures but have permission from all residents within 500 feet from where I intend to burn. May I go ahead and burn?

What documentation should I submit to the Regional Supervisor to get permission to burn within 500 feet of occupied structures?

I have rental houses located on my property where the burning will be conducted. Are the tenants of these houses considered in the 500-foot clearance requirements?

I have rental houses but these are not actually located on the property where the burning will occur. Are the tenants of these houses considered in the 500-foot clearance requirements?

May I use tires to assist in burning my land clearing debris?

What fuels may I use to start my land clearing debris fire?

May I burn my land clearing debris even though some of my neighbors are claiming my activities are a nuisance?

Can I move my land clearing debris around my own site in order to obtain the necessary 500 feet clearance or for other reasons to facilitate my efforts?


Can I burn closer than 250 feet to a highway?  [Back to Top]
Maybe, it depends on whether the wind direction at the time of the burning is initiated and the wind direction as forecasted by the National Weather Service at the time that the burning is initiated are away from any area. It is best to find a location that is at least 250 feet way from the edge of the roadway, if possible.

I am less than 500 feet from occupied structures but have permission from all residents within 500 feet from where I intend to burn. May I go ahead and burn?  [Back to Top]
No. Any such request must first be obtained in the form of signed waivers from all occupants within 500 feet, and presented to the appropriate air quality regional supervisor having jurisdiction in your area. Only the appropriate air quality regional supervisor can grant the actual permission to burn. There are seven air quality regions of North Carolina (Asheville, Winston-Salem, Mooresville, Raleigh, Fayetteville, Washington, and Wilmington).

What documentation should I submit to the Regional Supervisor to get permission to burn within 500 feet of occupied structures?  [Back to Top]
You need a signed waiver from each occupied structure within 500 feet and a clear map showing the location of the burning and each occupied structure.

I have rental houses located on my property where the burning will be conducted. Are the tenants of these houses considered in the 500-foot clearance requirements?  [Back to Top]
Yes. The Attorney General's Office has rendered an opinion that tenants renting property assume ownership rights associated with that property during the rental period. Therefore, tenants closer than 500 feet are treated the same as anyone else.

I have rental houses but these are not actually located on the property where the burning will occur. Are the tenants of these houses considered in the 500-foot clearance requirements? [Back to Top]
Yes. Structures located outside the property where the burning is occurring must be included in the 500 foot setback.

May I use tires to assist in burning my land clearing debris?  [Back to Top]
No. The open burning of tires is illegal, unhealthy, and can result in significant civil penalty assessments.

What fuels may I use to start my land clearing debris fire?  [Back to Top]
Kerosene, distillate oil, or diesel fuel.

May I burn my land clearing debris even though some of my neighbors are claiming my activities are a nuisance?  [Back to Top]
Smoke from allowable burning is not considered a nuisance under the Open Burning Rule as amended by the Regulatory Reform Act of 2014.

Can I move my land clearing debris around my own site in order to obtain the necessary 500 feet clearance or for other reasons to facilitate my efforts?  [Back to Top]
Yes, as long as the burning is conducted on the same site where the materials originate.