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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

What are Burn Bans?

2/8/2023 (Permalink)

A burn ban is a local order that prohibits outdoor burning. The purpose of a burn ban is to protect people, property, and the environment from wildfire. Fire bans are issued when conditions are so dry that fires can start easily and spread quickly. We hope this article gives you more insight into burn bans.

Burn bans are just that: bans on outdoor burning.

A burn ban is a restriction on the use of outdoor fireplaces, fire pits, and uncertified open-flame devices. Burn bans are issued by state agencies to prevent wildfires during periods of high fire danger. In some cases, counties may also issue their own burn bans.

Issued when unusually hot, dry, and windy conditions.

When unusually hot, dry, and windy conditions increase the risk of wildfires, the local or state government can issue a burn ban. The department monitors weather conditions closely to determine when these factors pose an increased risk for fires. If winds are strong enough to make it difficult for firefighters to contain an existing blaze or start new ones nearby, then authorities will issue a statewide ban on outdoor burning. 

Outdoor burning is a major cause of wildfires.

Outdoor burning is a major cause of wildfires in the spring and early summer. The United States Forest Service estimates that more than 90 percent of wildfires are caused by humans, making prevention an important part of wildfire management.

Burn bans are issued by state and local governments when conditions are dangerous for outdoor burning due to high winds, low humidity, and/or warm temperatures. Violators may be fined or face other penalties depending on their jurisdiction. 

The length of burn bans varies.

The length of burn bans varies from days to weeks depending on weather conditions. Each county has its own regulations regarding burn bans, but the most common time for a burn ban is during the summer months. The duration of a burn ban may be anywhere from one to fourteen (14) days. 

What types of burn bans are there?

There are two types of burn bans: county-issued and governor-issued.

  • County-issued burn bans are put in place by local authorities, such as fire departments or city governments. Local authorities may issue these bans if they believe that the current weather conditions could cause fires to spread faster than normal, with greater intensity than usual.
  • Governor-issued burn bans are issued by the state government when it feels that there is a high risk of wildfires due to drought conditions or other natural factors. These types of burns can also occur during periods of extreme heat and windy weather conditions where fires would be more difficult for firefighters to control. 

Check your local burn ban regulations.

The best way to check what your local burn ban regulations are is to call your local fire service and ask. You should always check the weather forecast before you do any burning of vegetation on your land. You need to be aware of the wind direction, how hot it is going to be, how dry it is, and whether there might be a fire risk or if there is already an active fire ban in place for your area. In addition, if there are any other factors that may affect whether or not you can burn safely (such as having neighbors close by), you should consider these too before starting any fires outside.

The main thing to remember is that burn bans can vary significantly from state to state and even county to county. It's important that you check with your local fire department or government agency before burning anything outside. If you are unsure of what constitutes a burn ban, please call your local fire department.

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