Regulations of Open Burning Explained
The Western North Carolina Regional Air Quality Agency, in the interest of public health regulates open burning in Buncombe County. While our primary interest is the protection of our air resources, we urge everyone to be careful with all outdoor fires. To protect these resources, we specify criteria to determine what and when people can legally burn.
The burning of leaves, brush, and yard trimmings is permitted on burning days between 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m., however the burning of household trash, building materials, asphaltic materials, card board, processed wood, and papers is PROHIBITED at any time. Burning of all material is prohibited where there is public pickup for yard waste. If you are burning within 500 feet of forestlands a North Carolina Forest Service permit may be required.
A permit is no longer required by this Agency for the burning of machine piled brush, that is the result of land clearing. However, all land clearing open burning must comply with the regulations. The piles to be burned must be piled to promote good combustion, therefore no stumps or logs over 12 inches in diameter and no dirt shall be included in the pile. The piles shall be 500 feet from the nearest occupied structure. Exceptions can be made in advance with documentation and approval. Burning must be done on a burning day and between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m., with no material added to the fire after 6:00 p.m. It is preferable to burn early during the approved time so that the burning will be complete prior to evening inversions that inhibit smoke dispersion.
ON NO OCCASION SHOULD CONSTRUCTION MATERIALS, PROCESSED WOODS, ASPHALTIC MATERIALS, TIRES, PLASTIC, CARDBOARD, OR PAPER BE BURNED.
Civil penalties will be assessed for violations.
Fire Training. Chapter 4.1903(b)(11) of the WNCRAQA Code allows open burning for instructing and training of firefighting personnel that does not qualify for coverage under Chapter 4.1903(b)(9) and (10). Burning is permissible only as a fire training exercise with the fire department present during the burning. Download and send in the form below to provide WNCRAQA with prior notification of open burning for the training of firefighting personnel
Additional information may be obtained at the Agency office or by calling (828) 250-6777. A hotline detailing burning days may be accessed by calling (828) 250-6777 Option #1.