As the weather warms many people turn their attention to outdoor activities, including yard work.
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, most kinds of open burning are illegal in Ohio, unless you receive a permit from the Southwest Ohio Air Quality Agency (Agency) or permission from your local fire department in advance. The Agency has a list of local fire departments on its website at SouthwestOhioAir.org.
2. Small campfires are allowed but they are limited to no larger than two-foot high by three-foot wide and it cannot be used for waste disposal.
In lieu of burning, start a compost pile for leaves, grass clippings, and small twigs. Visit the Clinton County Recycling and Solid Waste District website to learn how to start your own compost pile.
Brad Miller is the Assistant Director of the Southwest Ohio Air Quality Agency.
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