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Public Safety - Fire and Rescue

Posted on: September 28, 2017

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

Image of bonfire
The Loudoun County Fire Marshal’s Office (FMO) reminds residents that effective October 1, 2017, through midnight February 14, 2018, open burning is permitted for the burning of leaves and trees, brush, yard and garden trimmings generated on-site, except in the town limits of Leesburg, Lovettsville, Middleburg, Purcellville, Round Hill, and subdivisions throughout the county.  

Legally Set Open Air Fires are Subject to All Local Regulations
  • Fires must be reported to the Loudoun County Emergency Communications Center at 703-777-0637 prior to ignition and when the fire is extinguished.
  • Fires are to be attended by a competent person or persons, 18 years of age or older, at all times, 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 feet 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 feet 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 feet from a structure and 1,000 feet 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 land owners for development purposes shall be approved by the FMO. Such burning of trees, stumps and brush will likely require a permit from the FMO and the State Air Pollution Control Board. 
  • Warming barrels at a construction site shall be approved by the FMO. As approved, burning must be of clean lumber, 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 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 www.loudoun.gov/firemarshal.

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Media Contact: Laura Rinehart, Loudoun County Fire and Rescue Public Information Officer, email or 571-233-1649

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