Burn ban in effect for Ohio

Burn ban in effect for Ohio
Burn ban in effect for Ohio(Derek Witt)
Published: Mar. 18, 2022 at 6:04 AM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - It’s a sometimes-forgotten law, but during the months of March, April, and May, as well as October and November in the fall, open burning is illegal in Ohio between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. This is due to all the dry debris on the ground that can cause a backyard fire to quickly get out of control.

“Our fear is during open burning time folks will light a fire unknowing that the winds are high behind their back,” says Chief Jonathon Ziehr of Springfield Township Fire. “Then, the next thing you know it sweeps out, goes into the forest or into their neighbor’s yard.”

It’s not just rapidly spreading fires that cause concern; all that burning plant matter can also pose a health risk to the community.

“There’s millions of spores that are released into the air so those individuals that do have allergies and such, that causes issues for those people,” explained Chief Ziehr. “We get medical emergency calls on difficult breathing and chest pain; all from open burning and those spores being released into the air.”

With this week being the first stretch of nice weather this year, area fire departments have already been responding to some illegal burns over the past few days.

“The first fire that came was out of Fulton County,” Chief Ziehr told us. “We assist with them and do a lot of mutual aiding because it takes specialized equipment like those smaller trucks that not every department has to get inside those wooded areas.”

And the Springfield Township Fire Department has just the right tools for that task.

“We have two brush trucks and a small all-terrain vehicle called a Kubota that we’ll use out there to get into the wooded areas that are tight for the larger trucks to get into,” said Chief Ziehr.

There is one exception to the law: you can have a 2 by 3 feet cooking fire with a grate on top. However, if you still want to do a larger burn, you’ll need to contact the Ohio EPA to get a special permit.

Reporting in Springfield Township, Derek Witt, 13abc Action News.

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