Understand how to prevent wildfires from backyard debris burning.
Learn before you burn. When burning yard waste and debris, follow these important steps.
Check the conditions.
Don’t burn when it’s windy or when vegetation is very dry.
Check local regulations.
In your area, a permit may be required.
Burn this, not that.
You can burn dry, natural vegetation, grown on the property, unless prohibited by local ordinances. Household trash, plastic or tires are not good to burn and are illegal to burn in some areas. Check your local ordinances.
Choose a safe burning site away from powerlines, overhanging limbs, buildings, vehicles, and equipment. You’ll need at least three times the height of the pile of vertical clearance.
The site should be surrounded by gravel or mineral soil (dirt) at least 10 feet in all directions. Keep the surroundings watered down during the burn and have a shovel close by.
Prepare your pile.
Keep your piles small and manageable. Add additional debris as the fire burns down.
If using a burn barrel, make sure it’s made entirely of metal, properly equipped (at least three evenly-spaced, three-inch, screened vents and metal top screen) and in good condition.
Whether it’s a requirement in your area or not, always stay with your fire until it is completely out. Drown the fire with water, turn over the ashes with a shovel and drown it again. Repeat several times.
Check the burn area regularly over the next several days and up to several weeks following the burn, especially if the weather is warm, dry, and windy.