According to KY Title 401 KAR 63.005, some open burning is legal, with restrictions. But most materials are actually illegal to burn! The Division of Air Quality can impose fines of up to $25,000.00 per day per violation.
During this period of draught, it is important to remember that outdoor burning is very dangerous. Extra precautions must be taken if outdoor burning is necessary.
Currently the entire Commonwealth of Kentucky is under the Division of Forestry outdoor burning guidelines.
According to the Kentucky Forestry Fire Law 149.400, Fire Hazard Seasons; Fires are Prohibited with the Exceptions of: The period commencing on February 15 and ending on April 30 and commencing on October 1 and ending on December 15 of each year and hereby declared to be and established as the fire hazard seasons. During the fire hazard seasons, even though the precautions, required by KRS 149.375 shall have been taken, it shall be unlawful for any person to set fire to, or to procure another to set fire to, any flammable material capable of spreading fire, located in or within one hundred fifty feet (150’) of any woodland or bushland, except between the hours of 6:00 PM and 6:00AM, prevailing local time or when the ground is covered with snow.
Other precautions to take when burning outdoors:
- Use common sense when burning outdoors.
- Keep burn piles small and manageable.
- Never burn on a windy day.
- Always have a water source available in case the fire spreads.
- Have appropriate equipment available (rakes, hoes, tractor w/disk, etc.)
- Clear the area around the burn site of debris and flammable materials (a buffer zone).
- Avoid burning within 150 feet of a structure.
- Stay with the fire until it is completely out.
- If the fire spreads out of control, call 911.
NOTE: If the smoke from YOUR fire crosses a public roadway and obstructs the view of a driver causing an accident or, if the smoke enters a residence where the resident may have breathing problems, YOU could be LIABLE!!