Residential open burning is the burning of leaves, tree branches, and yard trimmings
that originate from your residence. It does not allow for logs over 6 inches in
diameter or any stumps to be burned. It is ONLY allowed in the cities or townships
that do not provide yard waste pick-up. View Open Burning
Policies for Towns/Cities Incorporated in Forsyth County.
The burning must start no earlier than 8:00 a.m. and no additional combustible material
may be added to the fire after 4:00 p.m. All residential fires must be completely
out no later than 6:00 p.m.
Open burning must not create a nuisance. A nuisance means ".. causing physical irritation
exacerbating a documented medical condition, visibility impairment, or evidence
of soot or ash on property or structure other than the property on which the burning
is done." The person burning should take every precaution to assure that
neighbors are not adversely affected by open burning activity. Creating a nuisance
is a violation of the code.
Residential Open Burning Regulations
In addition to the information stated above, residential open burning is prohibited
under the following conditions. Some first time offenses can result in fines that
range from $100 to $2,000. Additional violations can incur penalties up to $25,000
per violation per day.
- Commercial or business establishments are prohibitied from any open burning unless
they are undergoing a land-clearing operation and complying with the strict regulations
that apply to that type of activity. They may not do any burning of vegetation for
- No open burning is allowed when a Burning Ban or an Air Quality Alert is in effect.
An Air Quality Alert is issued when a Code Orange or above is forecasted or is occurring
for either Ozone or Particulate Matter. A burning ban or ozone alert supercedes
all other regulations that may otherwise allow for open burning. The burning bans
are authorized through the Forsyth County Fire Dept. and/or the N.C. Division of Forest Resources when atmospheric conditions
or local circumstances make burning hazardous.
- Burning of manmade debris (trash, construction materials, etc.) is unlawful in the
state of North Carolina, regardless of how or where it is burned. Garbage pick-up
is provided to all Forsyth County residents either as a service or for a modest
charge. Additional information can be obtained by calling your local government
or local waste carriers.
- If yard waste pick-up is provided, it is illegal to open burn. For example, the
City of Winston-Salem provides yard waste pick-up inside its City limits, therefore
no burning is allowed. Contact your local government for more information. Any violations
can result in a Notice of Violation with a fine. View Open
Burning Policies - for Towns/Cities Incorporated in Forsyth County.
- It is illegal to open burn any matter that is not generated on the site of your
residence. It must be burned at the place of your residence only. You may neither
bring vegetative material onto your site of residence to burn nor take material
from your site of residence and burn it elsewhere.
addition to meeting the Forsyth County regulations relating to Open Burning, a permit
is also required by the N.C. Divison of Forest Resources. Go to the Online Burning Permit System.
For additional information, contact:
- Forsyth County Fire Department: 703-2550
- N.C. Division of Forest Resources: 767-7269
- Winston-Salem Fire Department: 773-7900
For more information or to report an open burning problem, call us at 703-2440.