Skip Navigation


NCFS Home >> Burning Permits

Air Quality Regulations

Related to outdoor burning

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

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

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.

Homeowners can burn yard trimmings 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. For more information, contact your Air Quality Regional Supervisor or County Forest Ranger.

Back to top