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Fire and Rescue

Posted on: September 30, 2020

Fire Officials Remind Residents of Open Burning Regulations for Fall and Winter

open burning fall and winter NF 2020

The Loudoun County Fire Marshal’s Office (FMO) reminds residents that effective October 1, 2020, through midnight February 14, 2021, open burning is permitted for the burning of leaves and trees, brush, yard and garden trimmings generated on-site, except where always prohibited. Note: all fires must be called into the Loudoun County Emergency Communications Center at 703-777-0637 prior to ignition and when the fire is extinguished. 

If current weather conditions for open burning deem it to be a high-risk activity, additional restrictions may apply. Burning is always prohibited in urban or built up areas (i.e. subdivisions) throughout Loudoun County, the Town of Leesburg, and in town limits of Lovettsville, Middleburg, Purcellville and Round Hill.  

Legally Set Open Air Fires are Subject to All Local Regulations

  • Fires are to be constantly attended by a competent person(s) at least 18 years of age, with means to control and extinguish the fire. If at any time the fire is not attended and/or a means of extinguishment is not available, it must be fully extinguished.
  • Open burning may be no closer than 50 ft. from any structure and pose no hazards to a roadway.
  • Bonfires are allowed, provided that they consist of neatly piled seasoned wood, no more than five feet in diameter by five feet in height. The bonfire may be no closer than 50 ft. from any structure.

Prohibited Open Burning

  • The burning of household trash, garbage, refuse, household waste, commercial waste, construction waste or debris, combustible liquid, hazardous waste, impregnated lumber, junk, rubber, stumps, products of salvage operations, plastics, tires, tar based materials, oil or petroleum based products, hazardous materials, chemicals, animal carcasses and similar materials or waste is prohibited countywide (Incorporated towns included).
  • Open burning that is offensive or objectionable because of smoke or odor emissions, or when atmospheric conditions or local circumstances make such fires hazardous, open burning shall be prohibited.

Development-Related Burning

  • 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 ft. from a structure and 1,000 ft. from an occupied structure unless prior permission has been given by the occupant and poses no hazard to highways and airfields.
  • All land clearing (pit burn) operations by contractors or landowners for development purposes shall be approved by the FMO. Burning of trees, stumps or brush will likely require a permit from FMO and the State Air Pollution Control Board. 
  • Warming barrels at a construction site shall be approved by the FMO. Burning must be only clean lumber, in a barrel or similar container that is screened or covered to prevent flying embers and may be no closer than 15 ft. from any structure.     

The Loudoun County Fire Marshal may impose regulations, at any time, based upon a complaint, atmospheric or other environmental circumstances, to restrict or extinguish any fire that is otherwise permitted according to these guidelines. 

For additional open burning information, please call the Fire Marshal’s Office at 703-737-8600 during normal business hours or visit loudoun.gov/openburning.

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Open Burning Information
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