Some Public Open Burning Allowed in DE Through the End of April

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Delaware’s open burning ban will go into effect on May First – through September 30. This is ozone season, however right now, DNREC says that public open burning of materials – like tree limbs, brush and branches is allowed through April 30. However it is illegal to burn leaves, grass, trash, garbage and refuse – including tires, construction waste, paper, cardboard, plastic, furniture, fabric and mattresses. DNREC officials remind you that there are restrictions on what can be burned, how much at a time and what time of day materials can be burned.

Additional information from DNREC: Residential open burning of cut or fallen limbs, dead branches, or shrubbery is allowed from Oct. 1 to April 30. A maximum of 27 cubic feet of yard waste may be burned at one time. However, more material may be added to the fire as it burns down. Burning must take place between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Burning trash or garbage, construction and other debris, old tires, grass clippings and leaves is illegal at all times in Delaware. Fires must be monitored until they are completely extinguished.

The annual open burning ban – also known as the Ozone Season – begins May 1 and extends through Sept 30. The ban restricts outdoor burning to allow only cooking fires, recreational campfires and ceremonial bonfires using firewood during this period. These fires are permitted year-round. Citations issued by Delaware Natural Resources Police Environmental Crimes Unit for all other open burning during this time are punishable by fines to include court costs upon conviction.

DNREC offers the following open burning guidelines:

  • Pile materials you plan to burn as far as practical from all homes and other structures, including your neighbors.
  • Be considerate of those around you in choosing when and where to burn.
  • Keep a garden hose or full water buckets ready in case you need to reduce or put out the fire.

Or, consider alternatives to burning, such as:

  • Use curbside or drop-off yard waste sites. Further information may be found at de.gov/yardwaste.
  • Chip or shred limbs and branches to convert them into useful mulch.
  • Add yard waste to a compost pile to support a rich backyard garden. More information is available at de.gov/composting.

More information about open burning can be found atΒ de.gov/openburning.


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