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Open Burning  (Area Sources)


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Open Burning Information

• Citizens' Guide to Residential Open Burning
• Citizens' Guide to Residential Open Burning (Espanol)
• Open Burning Prohibitions, Approvals and Notifications
• Open Burning FAQ
• Open Burning by Fire Companies
• Citizens' Guide to Prescribed Burning

Delaware’s Division of Air Quality Regulation 1113 defines open burning as: Any outdoor fire or outdoor smoke producing process from which the products of combustion are emitted directly into the ambient air. This does not include incinerators, boilers, or heaters used in process operations.

Five types of open burning activities are covered by Delaware’s Open Burning Regulation:

• Residential burning of small amounts of yard/garden material by a homeowner.
• Recreational burning such as cooking fires, campfires, patio fire pits or ceremonial bonfires by organized groups.
• Demolition of structures by intentional burning for the purposes of firefighting instruction.
• Prescribed burning for forest and land management, and
• Agricultural burning for crop residue, field maintenance and land clearing for agricultural operations.

Open burning restrictions are in effect throughout Delaware from May 1 through September 30 (this five-month timeframe is considered the Ozone Season), and when the Delaware State Fire Marshal issues a ban on all outdoor burning. Open burining is also prohibited on Air Quality Action days when the State's air quality has been forecast by the Regional Air Quality Partnership (AQP) to be unhealthy.  Forecasts are provided on the DNREC website or by calling the AQP information line at 1-800-872-7261. Check the forecast daily to determine if an Air Quality Action Day has been forecasted prohibiting open burning activity.  

Finally, certain items are strictly prohibited from being burned at any time.  These items include, but are not limited to garbage, grass, and leaves.

For more information contact:

Gerald Mood

Revised: 06/10/16 

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