When the air is stagnant open burning can create smoke and odor nuisance to nearby neighbors. Additionally, it adversely affects the health-based air quality standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency.
Studies show that even small camp fires burning clean wood can release toxic chemicals. The burning of unclean materials presents even more hazards. Therefore, before lighting that fire, remember to protect yourself and your neighbors by knowing what you can burn and where.
Residents are allowed to burn only dried twigs, limbs and branches that originate from their property for disposal purposes, if they follow these requirements:
• Use a noncombustible container with a ventilated mesh covering with openings no greater than a quarter-inch.
• Place container at least 15 feet from anything that may catch fire.
• Maintain a means to extinguish the fire and burn only between 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
• Attend the fire at all times
Open burning types that are permitted include bonfires, campfires and fire pits.
Because the burning of leaves is prohibited in the county, residents are encouraged to place leaves in large plastic bags for collection by the Indianapolis Department of Public Works. Leaf collection runs through Dec. 2, and households can leave out 40 bags each week on their regular trash day. Info: www.indy.gov/dpw.