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Open Burning is generally prohibited in Indiana with a few exceptions. These exceptions are described in 326 IAC 4-1-3 and include, but are not limited to, fire training, prescribed burns to facilitate the growth of desirable vegetation, the disposal of clean wood waste, and the use of air curtain destructors. While Indiana regulations allow some types of residential open burning of clean wood, in most areas of the state many communities have adopted local ordinances to ban or restrict residential open burning. You should check with your local fire department, health department, or city or county government officials to see if local bans or restrictions are in place.
Even if your community allows residents to burn leaves or other yard waste, it is never advised. The smoke from any fire, including clean wood, can linger at ground level, where family members and neighbors can be affected. Only burn leaves or yard waste if you have no other alternatives. If you must burn, use a well-vented container (a burn barrel is not well-vented) and only burn clean wood. A properly vented container keeps the fire under control while allowing oxygen to feed the flames and reduce excessive smoke. A screen over the container can prevent ash and other debris from drifting into the air. Never burn on windy days and have plenty of water on hand.
There are better ways to get rid of your waste. Other methods to consider are:
The burning of wood scraps resulting from a business process is strictly prohibited. Other options available for disposal of such waste are to dispose of the wood scraps in a dumpster to be taken to a state permitted landfill. The wood scraps fall under an exclusion to regulated solid waste as outlined in 329 IAC 10-3-1. The disposal of uncontaminated and untreated natural growth solid waste, including tree limbs, stumps, leaves, and grass clippings; the disposal of saw dust derived from processing untreated natural wood; and dimensional lumber kiln dried without chemical treatment are exclusions as well. While the option to dispose of the scrap wood is allowable, it is not recommended as a Best Management Practice. Other options include:
The following list provides additional information concerning open burning, Indiana’s statutes, rules, and required forms.
The following forms are available on the IDEM Forms page: