The Department of Code Enforcement (DCE) wants to remind citizens that “open burning” which encompasses the burning of anything outside can lead to health and environmental risks if done improperly.
When the air is stagnant, open burning creates smoke and odor nuisance to nearby neighbors. Also, it adversely affects the health-based air quality standards for Marion County as set by the U.S. EPA under the Clean Air Act, which means the quality of air we breathe and share becomes less than ideal and potentially harmful over time.
Some studies show that even small camp fires burning clean wood can release toxic chemicals. Burning unclean materials presents even more hazards. Thus, before lighting that fire, remember to protect yourself, your neighbors and your wallet by knowing what you can burn and where.
Marion County residents are allowed to burn only dried twigs, limbs and branches that originate from their property for disposal purposes if they follow these requirements (Indy.Gov/DCE):
- Maintain a means to extinguish the fire at all times while burning
- Use a non-combustible container with a ventilated mesh covering with openings no greater than ¼-inch
- Burn only between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.
- Place container at least 15-feet from any structure, trees, or other object that may catch fire
- Attend the fire at all times
- Prevent creating a nuisance
Open burning types that are permitted include:
- Cooking fires such as barbecue grills
- Campfires, patio fire pits, or chiminea
- Personal comfort fires
- Ceremonial bonfires conducted by established groups, e.g., schools, churches, or other recognized organizations
The following lists examples of materials illegal to burn at anytime, anywhere in Marion County. A complete list of prohibited materials can be found on DCE’s website.
- Animal carcasses
- Household garbage/trash
In addition to residential properties, commercial properties (i.e. businesses) are not allowed to open burn materials for disposal or any other reason.
Please consult city and county offices or local weather stations to confirm that open burning is allowed during seasonal dry periods.
If you observe burning that does not meet the above criteria, please report the violation to the Mayor’s Action Center by dialing 317.327.4622.
For additional information about the Department of Code enforcement, please visit www.indy.gov/dce