Fire Marshal’s Office Reminds Residents of Open-Burning Regulations

Fire Marshal’s Office Reminds Residents of Open-Burning Regulations

The Loudoun County Fire Marshal’s Office reminds residents that open burning is allowed in Loudoun County from Oct. 1 through Feb. 14, 2019, but there are rules and guidelines that must be followed.

Open burning is permitted for the burning of leaves, trees, brush, yard trimmings and garden trimmings that are generated on-site, except in designated areas where open burning is always prohibited.

Burning is always prohibited in urban or built-up areas (such as subdivisions) throughout Loudoun County, in the Town of Leesburg and within the town limits of Lovettsville, Middleburg, Purcellville and Round Hill.

Legally set, open-air fires are subject to the following regulations:

  • Fires must be reported to the Loudoun County Emergency Communications Center at 703-777-0637 before they are started and and when they are extinguished.
  • Fires must be attended at all times by a competent person who is 18 or older, with means to control and extinguish the fire. If at any time the fire is not attended and/or a means of extinguishment is not available, it must be fully extinguished.
  • Open burning may be no closer than 50 feet from any structure and pose no hazards to a roadway.
  • Bonfires are allowed ONLY if they consist of neatly piled, seasoned wood and are no more than 5 feet in diameter by 5 feet in height. The bonfire may be no closer than 50 feet from any structure.

Prohibited Open Burning

  • The burning of household trash, garbage, refuse, household waste, commercial waste, construction waste or debris, combustible liquid, hazardous waste, impregnated lumber, junk, rubber, stumps, products of salvage operations, plastics, tires, tar based materials, oil or petroleum based products, hazardous materials, chemicals, animal carcasses and similar materials or waste is prohibited countywide (Incorporated towns included).
  • Open burning that is offensive or objectionable because of smoke or odor emissions, or when atmospheric conditions or local circumstances make such fires hazardous, is prohibited.

Development-Related Burning

  • Agricultural burning, such as clearing of a field or fence row, is limited to materials generated on-site. The burning may be no closer than 50 feet from a structure and 1,000 feet from an occupied structure, unless prior permission has been given by the occupant and poses no hazard to highways and airfields.
  • All land clearing (pit burn) operations by contractors or land owners for development purposes shall be approved by the FMO. Such burning of trees, stumps and brush will likely require a permit from the FMO and the State Air Pollution Control Board.
  • Warming barrels at a construction site shall be approved by the FMO. As approved, burning must be of clean lumber, done in a barrel or similar container that is screened or covered to prevent flying embers and may be no closer than 15 feet from any structure.

The Loudoun County Fire Marshal may impose regulations, at any time, based upon a complaint, atmospheric or other environmental circumstances, to restrict or extinguish any fire that is otherwise permitted according to these guidelines. For additional open burning information, please call the Fire Marshal’s Office at 703-737-8600 during normal business hours or visit

Joseph Dill