Open Burning Regulations
The regulation on open burning is based upon air quality standards developed by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) Opens a New Window. and is enforced locally by the Loudoun County Fire Marshal's Office. The DEQ has included Loudoun County in the Northern Virginia area which has extended the open burning ban from May through September of each year. Open burning regulations vary based upon the time of the year. To learn more about the open burning regulations during a select time period, see details below. Additional questions can be directed to the Fire Marshal's Office at 703-737-8600 during normal business hours.
- May 1 to September 30 Open Burning Prohibited
- October 1 to February 14 Open Burning Permitted
- February 15 to April 30 Open Burning Allowed Only Between 4 p.m. and 12 a.m.
- Development Related Burning
Fire Marshal Disclaimer: The Loudoun County Fire Marshal may impose regulations, at any time, based upon a complaint, atmospheric or other environmental circumstances, or to restrict or extinguish any fire that is otherwise permitted according to these guidelines.
Violations and Penalty: Violations of the open burning regulations may result in being charged with and convicted of a Class 1 Misdemeanor. In addition, the responsible party may be held liable for all damages and the costs of firefighting operations. Questions can be directed to the Fire Marshal's Office at 703-737-8600 during normal business hours.
- May 1 to September 30 -Prohibited
- October 1 to February 14 - Permitted
- February 15 to April 30 - Allowed between 4pm & 12 am
- Development Related Burning
Open Burning Prohibited May 1 to September 30
On a year round basis, open burning is always prohibited in the town limits of Lovettsville, Middleburg, Purcellville, Round Hill, and subdivisions ("urban or built up areas") throughout the County and in the Town of Leesburg.
Similarly, open burning is prohibited countywide (towns included) during the period of May 1 through September 30 of each year.
- Campfires, no larger than three feet in diameter by two feet in height and used for cooking purposes, are EXEMPT from these prohibitions, provided they are no closer than 50 feet from a structure.
- Portable fire pits and chimneas ARE ALLOWED and are not considered open burning if operated within manufacturer's specifications.
- Individuals interested a permanent fire pit should contact the FMO for approval. Here are some basic guidelines:
- Provide a sketch of the proposed fire pit location to include distances, to structures and other combustible materials (fence, shed, etc), and the dimensions and structure/construction of your fire pit. Fire pit is required to be at least 15 feet from any structure or combustible material.
- The largest diameter that would be allowed is 36”. Please be advised that a fire pit of 42” is large enough that it will be considered open burning and must comply with all the requirements of open burning.
- All fire pits must continue to have a wire mesh cover to control sparks, mechanism to extinguish the fire, attended at all times, limited to clean seasoned wood, and shall not create a nuisance.
Open Burning Permitted October 1 to February 14
Opening burn is allowed from October 1 to February 14 except when not otherwise prohibited as outlined in the Open Burning Prohibited section. Open burning is permitted for the burning of leaves, trees, brush, yard and garden trimmings generated on-site, where street side trash service is not available for this purpose. The burning of following items is prohibited countywide (towns included):
Open burning is allowed under the following conditions:
- All such open burning must be reported to the Loudoun County Fire and Rescue Emergency Communications Center (ECC) at 703-777-0637 prior to ignition and when the fire is extinguished.
- Open burning may be no closer than 50 feet from a structure.
- Fires shall be attended by competent persons 18 years of age or older, at all times, with provisions for control available.
- If at any time the fire is not attended and/or a means of extinguishment not immediately available, it must be fully extinguished.
Bonfires are allowed provided that they consist of seasoned wood, piled neatly, no more than five feet in diameter by five feet in height.
Open burning that is offensive or objectionable because of smoke or odor emissions or when atmospheric conditions or local circumstances make such fires hazardous shall be prohibited.
The Fire Marshal can institute a burn ban for any reason if conditions warrant.
Open Burning is Allowed Between 4 p.m. and 12 a.m., February 15 to April 30
- During periods designated by the Virginia Department of Forestry (DOF) Opens a New Window. , open burning is restricted. The DOF mandates and enforces the "4 p.m. burning law" effective February 15 through midnight April 30 of each year during which time frame open fires are prohibited between midnight and 4 p.m. countywide (towns included).
- Open air fires for leaves, trees, brush, yard and garden trimmings generated on site are allowed between 4 p.m. and midnight, except in the town limits of Lovettsville, Middleburg, Purcellville, Round Hill, and subdivisions ("urban or built up areas") throughout the County and in the Town of Leesburg.
- Before proceeding with open burning during this time frame, ensure all the conditions in the open burning section are met.
- Legally set fires are allowed to smolder between midnight and 4 p.m. provided they are appropriately attended with means for extinguishment, and no additional fuel load is added during this time frame.
- Legally set open air fires are subject to all local regulations.
Development Related Burning
- All burning related to land clearing operations by contractors or land owners for development purposes shall be approved by the Fire Marshal's Office. Such burning of trees, stumps and brush will likely require a permit from the Virginia State Air Pollution Control Board Opens a New Window. (9 VAC 5-40-5600) and shall not be within 1,000 feet from an occupied structure.
- The use of warming barrels at a construction site is permitted as approved by the Fire Marshal's Office so long as they contain clean lumber, and are done in a barrel or similar container that is screened or covered to prevent flying embers and may be no closer than 15 feet from a structure.
- Agricultural burning, such as clearing of a field or fence row, is limited to materials generated on site. The burning may be no closer than 50 feet from a structure and 1,000 feet from an occupied structure, unless prior permission has been given by the occupant and may not pose a hazard to highways and airfields.
Open Burning Permit
Contact the Fire Marshal's Office at 703-737-8600 to obtain an Open Burning Permit Application Form. The fee is $120. An operational permit is required to operate a special incineration device as defined by the State Air Pollution Control Board.
Contact Chief Linda Hale at 703-737-8600 for more information.