Open Burning

You can be fined up to $25,000 for illegal open burning in N.C.

Smoke from open burning can cause serious health problems and pollute the air. That’s why the state regulates open burning. Only leaves, branches or other plant growth can be burned.

It’s illegal to burn:

  • Garbage, paper and cardboard
  • Tires and other rubber products
  • Building materials, including lumber Wire, plastics and synthetic materials
  • Asphalt shingles and heavy oils
  • Paints, household and agricultural chemicals

Homeowners can burn yard trimmings (excluding logs and stumps) if allowable under local ordinances, no public pickup is available, and it doesn’t cause a public nuisance. Other allowable burning includes campfires, outdoor barbeques, and bonfires for festive occasions. Landowners can also open burn vegetation to clear land or rights-of-way, provided that:

  • Prevailing winds are away from built up areas and roads.
  • Fires are at least 500 feet away from occupied buildings.
  • Burning is done between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Remember, burn permits issued by the NC Forest Service or any local government do not excuse a person from following these rules.


To Obtain a burning permit online please click the link below:

Online Burning Permit

To Contact the Local County Forest Ranger please click the link below:

Vance County Forest Ranger

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