Illegal Burning

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illegal burn

Open Burning vs. Illegal burning


Open burning activities in Boone County are permitted during October 1st - April 30th of each year. Burn bans are in effect during May 1st - September 30th. Occasionally, there are other times where burn bans are in effect and can be seen here. Know before you burn.

Open burning activities permitted all-year round:
  • Fires for cooking
  • Recreational and ceremonial fires
  • Construction site warming fires - contained, lumber only
  • Fires set for recognized agricultural practices
  • Prescribed burning for forest, range, ecological, or wildlife management - burn boss must be present
  • Approved firefighter training
  • Fires set for the prevention of a fire hazard
Open burning activities permitted during October 1st - April 30th in Boone County:
  • All activities listed above
  • Fires set for weed abatement, disease, and pest prevention 
  • Fires set to dispose of natural growth from land clearing and storms
  • Fires for disposal of household paper products
    **All of these activities are illegal during May 1st - September 30th

NEVER burn the following:
Animal bedding Hay  Muck piles  Grass clippings  Agricultural plastic 
 Any structures (barns, sheds, trailers, etc.) Asbestos  Construction, demolition, or renovation debris  Shingles  Drywall 
 Food scraps Plastic or plastic-containing products  Cans  Glass  Styrofoam 
 Diapers Fence posts  Wood mulch, chips, or shavings  Sawdust  Painted, stained, or pressure-treated wood 
 Tires Furniture  Carpeting  Insulation  Coated wire 
Rubber Used oil Waste from any business, school, church or farm Appliances Poison ivy, oak, or sumac

Alternatives to burning:
  • Recycling
  • Reusing
  • Composting
  • Taking to the landfill for proper disposal

Report illegal burning

Report illegal burns by calling your local fire department, Kentucky's illegal burn line at 502-782-6592, or by emailing burnlaw@ky.gov.

Local Fire Departments

  • Belleview/McVille Fire Department: 859-586-6060
  • Burlington Fire Protection District: 859-586-6161
  • Florence Fire & EMS Department (Weaver Road): 859-647-5660
  • Florence Fire Department (Ewing Boulevard): 859-647-7206
  • Hebron Fire Protection District (North Bend): 859-586-9009
  • Hebron Fire Protection District (Graves Road): 859-586-2253
  • Petersburg Fire Department: 859-586-8030
  • Point Pleasant Fire Protection District: 859-283-2798
  • Union Fire Department: 859-384-3342
  • Verona Fire Department: 859-493-0000
  • Walton Fire Protection District (Towne Center Drive): 859-485-7439
  • Walton Fire Protection District (Shorland Drive): 859-485-7741


Kentucky Administrative Regulations

401 KAR - Energy and Environment Cabinet - Department for environmental protection
401 KAR 63:005. Open burning.

Section 3. Prohibition of Open Burning. Except as provided in Sections 4 and 5 of this administrative regulation, open burning shall be prohibited.
Section 4. Allowable Open Burning. Subject to the limitations contained in this section and the restrictions contained in Section 5 of this administrative regulation, open burning shall be allowed for:
(1) Fires set for the cooking of food for human consumption;
(2) Fires set for recreational or ceremonial purposes;
(3) Small fires set by construction and other workers for comfort heating purposes if:
(a) The ambient temperature is below fifty (50) degrees Fahrenheit;
(b) Excessive or unusual smoke is not created;
(c) Only clean lumber or vegetative matter is burned; and
(d) The fire is burned in a container not exceeding fifty-five (55) gallons in size;
(4) Fires set for the purpose of weed abatement, disease, and pest prevention;
(5) Fires set for prevention of a fire hazard, including the disposal of dangerous materials if no safe alternative is available;
(6) Fires set for the purpose of instruction and training of public and industrial employees in the methods of fighting fires as set forth in Section 6 of this administrative regulation;
(7) Fires set for recognized agricultural, silvicultural, range, ecological, and wildlife management practices;
(8) Fires set by individual homeowners for burning of leaves except in cities greater than 8,000 population located in a Priority I Region;
(9) Fires for disposal of household rubbish, which shall not include garbage, originating at dwellings of five (5) family units or less, if the fires are maintained by an occupant of the dwelling at the dwelling, except in cities greater than 8,000 population located in a Priority I Region;
(10) Fires set for the purpose of disposing of accidental spills or leaks of crude oil, petroleum products or other organic materials, and the disposal of absorbent material used in their removal, if no other economically feasible means of disposal is available and practical. Per-mission shall be obtained from the cabinet prior to burning;
(11) Fires set for disposal of natural growth for land clearing and maintenance, and trees and tree limbs felled by storms if no extraneous materials, such as tires or heavy oil which tend to produce dense smoke, are used to cause ignition or aid combustion and the burning is done on days when conditions do not pose a threat of igniting a forest fire. In regions classified Priority I, with respect to particulate matter pursuant to 401 KAR 50:020, Appendix A, the emissions from these fires shall not be equal to or greater than forty (40) percent opacity;
(12) Heating ropes that are set on fire to repair steel rails during cold weather; and
(13) Fires set by county or municipal governments to dispose of wood waste or clean lumber. This activity shall not be considered in violation of 401 KAR 47:030, Section 10.
Section 5. Restrictions to Open Burning. (1) For those counties, or portions of counties, which are, or were previously, designated moderate non attainment for the one (1) hour ozone or non attainment for the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) PM10 or those counties, or portions of counties, which are, or were designated non attainment for the eight (8) hour ozone or PM2.5 national ambient air quality standards, pursuant to 401 KAR 51:010, fires may be set in accordance with this administrative regulation except during the months of May, June, July, August, and September. During these months, the only open burning activities al-lowed shall be:
(a) Fires set for the cooking of food for human consumption;
(b) Fires set for prevention of a fire hazard, including disposal of dangerous materials if no safe alternative is available;
(c) Fires set for the purpose of bona fide instruction and training of public and industrial employees in the methods of fighting fires;
(d) Fires set for recognized agricultural, silvicultural, range, ecological, and wildlife management practices;
(e) Fires set for the purpose of disposing of accidental spills or leaks of crude oil, petroleum products or other organic materials, and the disposal of absorbent material used in their removal, if no other economically feasible means of disposal is available and practical. Permission shall be obtained from the cabinet prior to burning; and
(f) Fires set for recreational or ceremonial purposes.
(2) Open burning shall comply with the fire hazard season requirements of KRS 149.400.
(3) Open burning for land clearing purposes associated with residential, commercial, or industrial development shall be limited to a maximum of two (2) contiguous acres at any one (1) time.
(4) This administrative regulation shall not authorize open burning that is prohibited by any local ordinance.
Section 6. Procedures for Fire Training. Burning conducted in conjunction with training for public, private and industrial firefighters shall be subject to the following criteria:
(1) Excluding fire training that has been approved by the Kentucky State Fire Marshal, or which has been certified by the Kentucky State Fire Commission, or which is conducted in accordance with standards adopted by the National Wildfire Coordinating Group, any entity in-tending to conduct fire training shall submit written notification to the local Division for Air Quality regional office a minimum of fifteen (15) days prior to the scheduled training. The writ-ten notification shall state the location and the date of the proposed fire training, the name and contact information for the on-site training coordinator, the number of firefighters to be trained, the goals and the objectives of the training, and a brief summary of what is to be taught.
(2) Any materials that contain asbestos shall not be burned.
(3) Materials likely to produce hazardous or toxic emissions shall be removed prior to the fire training burning event, to the extent practicable, and properly disposed.
(4) Excluding fire training approved by the Kentucky Division of Forestry or the Kentucky State Fire Marshal, or which has been certified by the Kentucky State Fire Commission, or which is conducted in accordance with standards adopted by the National Wildfire Coordinating Group, entities conducting fire training shall be limited to one burning event related to training per year for every ten firefighters under their supervision.
(5) Excluding fire training approved by the Kentucky Division of Forestry or the Kentucky State Fire Marshal, or which has been certified by the Kentucky State Fire Commission, or which is conducted in accordance with standards adopted by the National Wildfire Coordinating Group, between May 1 and September 30, fire training shall not be conducted in any counties, or portions of counties, which are, or were previously, designated moderate non attainment for ozone, or designated, or previously designated, non attainment for the eight (8) hour ozone or PM2.5 (particulate matter) national ambient air quality standard, pursuant to 401 KAR 51:010. (5 Ky.R. 510; eff. 6-6-1979; 10 Ky.R. 634; eff. 3-1-1984; 24 Ky.R. 654; 1299; eff. 1-12-1998; 31 Ky.R. 1354; 32 Ky.R. 63; eff. 7-13-2005; Crt eff. 9-12-2018.)