Open Burning

Illegal Burning Items
North Carolina law prohibits most open burning because the smoke from outdoor fires can cause serious health problems and air pollution. Backyard burning of trash is the largest source of highly toxic dioxin emissions. Under the open burning rule, it is illegal to burn:
  • Anything on days when the air quality forecast is Code Red or Orange
  • Asphalt shingles and heavy oils
  • Building materials (including lumber)
  • Buildings and other structures
  • Garbage, paper, and cardboard
  • Paints and household and agricultural chemicals
  • Tires and other rubber products
  • Wire, plastics, and other synthetic materials
Homeowners can burn yard trimmings (excluding stumps and logs over 6 inches in diameter) if it is allowed under local ordinance, no public pickup is available and if it doesn't cause a public nuisance.

The minimum civil penalties for illegal burning are first offense $200, second offense $300, and subsequent offenses $500.

Under the North Carolina Open Burning Rule the North Carolina Division of Air Quality can assess fines as high as $10,000 per violation.
Illegal Burning of Furniture
Illegal Burning of Scrap Wood