Open air fires and the open burning of leaves and trees, brush, yard and garden trimmings generated onsite are allowed in the county, EXCEPT in the town limits of Leesburg, Lovettsville, Middleburg, Purcellville and Round Hill. Open fires also are NOT permitted in subdivisions.
Legally set open-air fires must comply with the following local regulations:
- Limited to the burning of leaves and trees, brush, yard and garden trimmings, generated on site.
- The burning may be no closer than 50 feet from a structure and pose no hazards to a roadway.
- Fires must be reported to the Fire-Rescue Emergency Communications Center at 703-777-0333 before ignition and when the fire is out.
- For agricultural purposes, such as clearing a field or fence row, for materials generated on site. The burning may be no closer than 1,000 feet from an occupied structure and may not pose a hazard to highways and airfields.
- For bonfires, provided that they consist of seasoned wood, piled neatly, no more than 5 feet in diameter by 5 feet in height. The burning may be no closer than 50 feet from a structure.
- Fires shall be attended by competent person(s) 18 yrs. of age or older, at all times, with provisions for control and extinguishment available.
- If at any time the fire is not attended and/or a means of extinguishment not immediately available, it must be fully extinguished.
- Portable fire pits and chimneas are allowed and are not considered open burning if operated within the manufacturer’s specifications.
- On a year-round basis, open burning is always prohibited in the town limits of Leesburg, Lovettsville, Middleburg, Purcellville, Round Hill, and subdivisions throughout the county.
- The burning of construction debris, plastics, tires, tar based materials, oil or petroleum based products, hazardous materials, chemicals, animal carcasses and similar materials or waste is prohibited countywide (towns included).
- Effective February 15 through midnight April 30, open air fires are prohibited between 12 midnight and 4:00 p.m. (§10.1-1142, Code of Virginia and Section 307.1 of the Loudoun County Fire Prevention Code). Legally set fires (set between 4:00 p.m. and midnight) are allowed to smolder between 12 midnight and 4:00 p.m. provided they are appropriately attended with means for extinguishment, and no additional fuel load is added during this timeframe.
- Similarly, open burning is prohibited countywide (towns included) during the period of May 1 through September 30 unless approved by the Loudoun County Fire Marshal’s Office. Campfires, no larger than 3 feet in diameter by 2 feet in height and used for cooking purposes are exempt from these prohibitions, provided they are no closer than 50 feet from a structure.
- All land clearing (pit burn) operations by contractors or land owners for development purposes shall be approved by the Fire Marshal’s Office. Such burning of trees, stumps and brush will likely require a permit from the Fire Marshal’s Office and the State Air Pollution Control Board.
- Warming barrels at a construction site shall be approved by the Fire Marshal’s Office. 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 a structure.
Fire Marshal Disclaimer: The Loudoun County Fire Marshal may impose regulations, at any time, based upon complaint, atmospheric or other environmental circumstances, to restrict or extinguish any fire that is otherwise permitted according to these guidelines.
Violations and Penalty: Violations of the requirements on open burning may result in a conviction as a Class 1 Misdemeanor (confinement in jail for not more than 12 months and a fine of not more than $2,500, either or both). In addition, the responsible party may be held liable for all damages and the costs of firefighting operations.