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Open Burning Regulations for the State of Delaware Start May 1st.
Friday, July 17, 2015



Allowable Domestic Open Burning Activities Include:

  • Cooking fires (limited to 10 cubic feet at one time of clean, unpainted, untreated, unstained wood or charcoal or propane or natural gas) are allowed all year round.
  • Campfires, patio fire pits & fireplaces, or chimenea (limited to 27 cubic feet at one time) are allowed all year round.
  • Ceremonial bonfires conducted by established groups such as schools, churches, or other recognized organizations (limited to 27 cubic feet at one time) are allowed all year round.
  • 27 cubic feet, which equals one cubic yard, represents the size of a fire that can be reasonably extinguished with a residential garden hose.
  • Burning of small amounts of cut or fallen branches, limbs, or brush shrubbery from your residence (limited to 27 cubic feet at one time).
    • NOTE: Such burning is banned during the five-month Ozone Season (May 1st through September 30th).  During the rest of the year (October 1st through April 30th), such burning is allowed only between 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. except for Air Quality Action Days and when outdoor burning is banned by the Delaware State Fire Marshal.
  • Before conducting an open burning activity (except cooking fires, patio fire pits & fireplaces, recreational campfires and ceremonial bonfires) a homeowner must notify the New Castle County Fireboard at phone number 302-571-7331.

Materials Which Are Always Prohibited To Be Open Burned In Delaware, Include:

  • Fallen Leaves.
  • Grass Clippings.
  • Garbage/Trash/Rubbish including rags, paper, lumber, tree stumps and tires, even if the burning occurs inside a burn barrel, fire pit or chimenea.
  • Burning more than 27 cubic feet of branches, limbs or shrubbery at one time at a residence.
  • Burning cut or fallen branches, limbs or shrubbery not generated by the homeowner’s residence.
  • Crop residue, field maintenance and land-clearing material that HAS NOT been generated to develop land for the purpose of establishing agricultural operations.

When Open Burning Occurs:

  • Any person causing or allowing open burning shall remain present and closely supervise all fire at all times until the fire is completely extinguished.
  • Upon being instructed to do so by any fire officer in charge, any person shall immediately cease open burning and shall immediately extinguish all active open burning on their property or under their control.

When Open Burning Is Criminal:

  • Violators of open burning restrictions will be targeted by DNREC’s Environmental Protection Officers for flouting the burn law.  Penalties range from $50 -$500, plus a possible criminal record with conviction.  
  • Citizens can call the 24-hour Open Burning Hotline at 1-800-662-8802 to report illegal burning.


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