Open Burn Rules

Although it may be tempting to pile branches and other yard trimmings to burn, it’s important to know the facts before lighting a match.

When leaves and plant materials catch fire, they release millions of spores, causing people with allergies to have difficulty breathing. The pollutants released by open burning can also make it more difficult to meet health-based air quality standards, especially in or near the metropolitan centers such as Cincinnati.

Please consider these critical points before setting a backyard fire.

1. First and foremost, open burning is not permitted in the State of Ohio, unless you receive a permit from the Southwest Ohio Air Quality Agency and permission from your local fire department in advance.

2. In Springfield Township, small recreational fires (or campfires) are allowed but limited to no larger than two-foot high by three-foot wide and it cannot be used for waste disposal.

In lieu of burning, take advantage of Hamilton County Recycling and Solid Waste District's three Yard Trimming Drop-off Sites that are free to county residents and open most weekends now through November. Check their website for details and directions at

View a comprehensive guide to open burning in Ohio on the Southwestern Ohio Air Quality Agency website.

Springfield Township Fire Chief advises too, "Be courteous of your neighbors. Do not allow recreational fires to smolder. The smoke can become a nuisance to those around and become cause for concern." To report an open burn issue, call the Springfield Township Fire Department at 513-521-7578.