Recreational Fires

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One of our most frequently asked questions is about open burning and recreational fires in Allegheny County.

Open burning fire

The ordinance in Allegheny County is Allegheny County Health Department Rules and Regulations Article XXI, Air Pollution Control, §2105.50 Open Burning {Subsection f amended May 8, 2007, effective, August 17, 2007, and amended July 16, 2009, effective July 26, 2009. Subsections a, b, and d amended, and Subsections e and f renumbered, November 13, 2014, effective January 1, 2015.}

Below is a summarized version of what is needed to comply with the ordinance:

 

No material other than clean wood, propane or natural gas may be open burned EXCEPT for:
+ Commercially available fire logs, paraffin logs, or wood pellets;
+ Paper or commercially available smokeless fire starters in order to start a fire;
+ Charcoal for the preparation of food only.

Fires may be no larger than 3′ wide by 3′ long by 2′ high.

Fires must be at least 15 feet from the nearest neighbor’s dwelling or inhabited area, including property lines, roadways, sidewalks and public access areas.

Wood burning activities are prohibited on Air Quality Action days, except when burning for the commercial preparation of food. You can subscribe to receive email, text or smart phone app notifications of burn ban days at www.alleghenycounty.us/alerts

Burning may be prohibited or reduced if it is considered a nuisance, based on the following criteria:
+ The severity of the amount of air pollutants;
+ The duration or frequency of open burning;
+ The topography of the surroundings;
+ The meteorological conditions.

Open burning permits are available for ceremonies fostering of agriculture, abatement of a public health hazard, and firefighting instruction; however, all permitted open burning is prohibited on Air Quality Action Days. Contact the Health Department at 412.578.8103 for more information.

 

For more information and the full text of the ordinance, please visit the Allegheny County Health Department’s Burning Central site: http://www.achd.net/air/burning/