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Wednesday, April 10, 2019
Controlled Burn Safety Announcement – Backyard Debris Burning


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Controlled Burn Safety Announcement – Backyard Debris Burning.

The State of Delaware does have a burn ban that will commence May 1st and cease on September 1st.  

Understand how to prevent wildfires from backyard debris burning.

Learn before you burn. When burning yard waste and debris, follow these important steps.

  • 1 - Check the conditions.

Don’t burn when it’s windy or when vegetation is very dry.

  • 2 - Check local regulations.

In your area, a permit may be required.

  • 3 - Burn this, not that.

You can burn dry, natural vegetation, grown on the property, unless prohibited by local ordinances. Household trash, plastic or tires are not good to burn and are illegal to burn in some areas. Check your local ordinances.

  • 4 - Look up.

Choose a safe burning site away from powerlines, overhanging limbs, buildings, vehicles, and equipment. You’ll need at least three times the height of the pile of vertical clearance.

  • 5 - Look around.

The site should be surrounded by gravel or mineral soil (dirt) at least 10 feet in all directions. Keep the surroundings watered down during the burn and have a shovel close by.

  • 6 - Prepare your pile.

Keep your piles small and manageable. Add additional debris as the fire burns down.

  • 7 - Burn Barrel Information 

If using a burn barrel, make sure it’s made entirely of metal, properly equipped (at least three evenly-spaced, three-inch, screened vents and metal top screen) and in good condition.

  • 8 - Local Requirements / Regulations

Whether it’s a requirement in your area or not, always stay with your fire until it is completely out. Drown the fire with water, turn over the ashes with a shovel and drown it again. Repeat several times.

  • 9 – Monitor Burn Area

Check the burn area regularly over the next several days and up to several weeks following the burn, especially if the weather is warm, dry, and windy.

Other ways to be fire-smart at home and on the go

  • 1 – Create Buffer Zone

If you live in a wildland-urban interface (where homes meet wildlands), create a 30-foot zone of fire-resistant space around your home and consider using fire-resistant plants and landscaping.

  • 2 – Dispose of Ashes Properly

When disposing of charcoal briquettes and ash outside, drown the charcoal and ash with lots of water, stir them, and soak again. Be sure they are out cold.

  • 3 – Residential Smoking

If someone smokes outside your home, maintain a 3-foot clearing around the smoker. Grind out cigarettes, cigars or pipe tobacco in the dirt, never on a stump or a log; do not throw smoking materials into brush or leaves.

It is also unsafe to smoke while on a trail because you never know where the ash will land. Whether smoking in the car, inside or outdoors, it’s always best to use an ashtray.

Additional information may be view via the following webpage:

(1)  WBOC Controlled Burn Safety Video:

(2)  Delaware's Guide to Open Burning: 

(3)  The Ad Council Information:


Source:  The Ad Council -