Stay safe, legal by following open burning laws


By Matt Echelberry - Special to the Inquirer



GALION — It’s never too soon to think about backyard firepits.

The Galion Fire and EMS Department is reminding residents to follow state and local laws when conducting open burning on their property.

According to the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, open burning can release many kinds of toxic fumes and pollutants, which can make breathing difficult for people with allergies or health problems. Under Ohio law, these materials may not be burned at any time: garbage; materials containing rubber, grease, and asphalt; materials made from petroleum; or dead animals.

Chapter 1511 of the Galion Codified Ordinances specifies additional local regulations:

  • Open burning, bonfires, recreational fires and use of portable outdoor fireplaces shall be constantly attended until the fire is extinguished.
  • A minimum of one portable fire extinguisher with a minimum 4-A rating or other approved on-site fire-extinguishing equipment (such as dirt, sand, water barrel, garden hose or water truck) shall be available for immediate utilization.
  • Bonfires (Usually ceremonial or celebratory in nature and have fires larger than 3ft in diameter and higher than 2ft) may not be conducted within 50 feet of a structure or combustible material unless the fire is contained in a barbecue pit. Conditions which could cause a fire to spread within 50 feet of a structure shall be eliminated prior to ignition.
  • Recreational fires (an outdoor fire with a total fuel area of 3 feet or less in diameter and 2 feet or less in height for pleasure, religious, ceremonial, cooking, warmth or similar purposes) shall not be conducted within 25 feet of a structure or combustible material. Conditions which could cause a fire to spread within 25 feet of a structure shall be eliminated prior to ignition.
  • Portable outdoor fireplaces (ex. Chimineas) shall be used in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions and shall not be operated within 15 feet of a structure or combustible material. Exception: Portable outdoor fireplaces used at one- and two-family dwellings.

Open burning violations may be subject to a fine of $25-500 per day of burning, plus the cost of proper disposal of the material burned. Subsequent violations carry a maximum fine of $1,000 per day of burning.

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By Matt Echelberry

Special to the Inquirer

Matt Echelberry is communications director for the City of Galion.

Matt Echelberry is communications director for the City of Galion.

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