Outdoor Burning Rules and Permits

Smokey the BearThe NC Dept of Environment and Natural Resource, Division of Air Quality can fine you up to $10,000 for illegal OPEN BURNING in North Carolina. There are a lot of misunderstandings about open-air burning in NC. Some people think it’s ok to burn trash in barrels because they’ve always done it that way. It’s not! Others think it’s always OK to burn leaves and branches in the fall. But that’s not so in cities and counties that pick up yard waste. Check with local officials before you burn. It you want to start an outdoor fire, contact your local fire department or forest ranger. The NC Division of Air Quality (DAQ) enforces the state open burning rules and many local governments have additional restrictions on outdoor fires. Violating these rules can be expensive, with fines as high as $10,000 for serious cases or repeat violations.

The basic message of the state open-burning rule is simple: Only leaves, branches and other plant growth can be burned and NOTHING ELSE. If local pickup is available, you can’t burn even leaves and branches.

All outdoor burning is prohibited inside the City Limits of Blowing Rock. Pick up of leaves, debris and yard waste is available by calling 828-295-5200.

Do not burn:

  • Garbage, paper and cardboard
  • Tires and other rubber products
  • Building materials, including lumber and wood scraps
  • Wire, plastics and synthetic materials
  • Asphalt shingles and heavy oils
  • Paints, household and agricultural chemicals

Locations to obtain a burning permit:

  • Blowing Rock Police Department, Park Avenue 828-295-5210
  • Blowing Rock Fire & Rescue 8001 Valley Blvd. Blowing Rock. 828-295-5220
  • J&M General Store- 5030 US Hwy 321 828-264-1357
  • NC Forest Rangers Office, 655 Landfill Road, Boone 828-265-5375
  • Online at http://www.dfr.state.nc.us/burn_permits/burn_permits_main.htm

For information on burning rules and regulations outside of city limits, visit: