Open Burning & Recreational Fires
The Ohio Fire Code is the minimum standard for fire safety in the State of Ohio.
These rules are promulgated and adopted by the Ohio Division of State Fire Marshall and become statewide law that the CJFD must comply with. In addition, the Ohio Administrative Code regulates open burning activities and is enforced by the Ohio EPA and locally by the Regional Air Pollution and Control Agency.
The CJFD receives many requests for information related to open burning requirements. The most common request is for information concerning the requirements for having a recreational fire within the City limits. The Ohio rules and laws define a recreational fire as:
An outdoor fire burning materials other than rubbish where the fuel being burned is not contained in an incinerator, outdoor fireplace, barbecue grill or barbecue pit and has a total fuel area of 3 feet or less in diameter and 2 feet or less in height for pleasure, religious, ceremonial, cooking, warmth or similar purposes.
The Ohio Administrative Code contains additional provisions for open burning within restricted areas that applies to the City and Township of Canfield, because of our population and the fact that we are located within an incorporated area. In these rules yard waste materials cannot be burned at any time.
Residents may have a recreational fire, subject to the following rules and regulations:
• The only material that can be burned is clean, dry wood as a fuel source. (No yard waste, rubbish materials or prohibited materials defined by the OAC may be burned at any time.)
• If the fire is contained in an approved container such as an outdoor fireplace, barbecue pit, etc., the fire must be at least 15 feet from a structure or combustible materials.
• For an open fire not contained, the fire must be at least 25 feet from a structure, wood fence, neighboring structure or combustible materials. Conditions that could cause a fire to spread within 25 feet of the fire must be eliminated prior to ignition of a fire.
• The fire must be constantly attended while burning and must be extinguished if it is not attended.
• A portable fire extinguisher (with a minimum of a 4A rating), a garden hose, bucket of sand or other suitable means for extinguishing the fire must be provided.
• The fire must not create an offensive or objectionable condition that interferes with the neighboring residents’ use and enjoyment of their property. If this occurs, the Fire Division is required to order the person responsible for the fire to extinguish it.
• The Fire District is required to extinguish fires which create hazardous conditions.
The most common complaint from neighbors is when recreational fires are not conducted in accordance with the rules and regulations, or when the environmental conditions cause the smoke to migrate off of the property into the residence of neighboring properties. Persons with chronic breathing problems can often times be affected by these conditions.
Another issue that commonly comes up associated with recreational fires is noise and disturbance of the neighborhood when these events extend late into the evening. This is a police matter, and will be dealt with by the Canfield Police Department or Mahoning County Sheriff.
If the CJFD orders you to extinguish your fire due to non-compliance with the rules and regulations, or the fire creates an offensive or objectionable condition, you are bound by Ohio law to comply with the request. Failure to do so may result in result in you being charged with violation of the open burning regulations.
If you have any questions concerning the Ohio Open Burning Regulations, please contact Deputy Chief Matt Rarick at (330) 533-4316 ext. 3.