|The Open Burning Rule is one of North Carolina's oldest air quality regulations, first adopted in 1971. The rule prohibits most outdoor burning and sets conditions for allowable fires. Under the rule, it is always illegal to burn trash and other non-vegetative materials. Leaves, branches and other plant growth can be burned under certain conditions. Violators can be fined up to $25,000 or more.
NOTE: The N.C. General Assembly has amended restrictions on the transport of vegetative matter for outdoor burning. Under the change, vegetation from land-clearing operations may now be transported off-site and burned in another location under certain circumstances. Such burning may be allowed if the material is: burned not more than four times a year, located at least 500 feet from occupied buildings, and contains no more than two piles less than 20 feet in diameter. More details can be viewed in
Regulatory Reform Act of 2013 Sect. 28 (Open Burning Without an Air Quality Permit).