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Before open burning clean wood from clearing projects or demolition sites, contact IDEM concerning an open burning variance. IDEM approval must be obtained prior to burning clean wood or vegetation from clearing and demolition projects. While open burning is not advised, businesses, individuals or other government agencies may have to consider this alternative for managing a large quantity of clean wood waste, such as brush or clean wood from clearing projects or demolition debris.
Questions concerning open burning variances and state rules may be directed to IDEM’s Air Compliance Branch at (800) 451-6027, ext. 3-5672. Please also visit IDEM’s Web page for Open Burning Forms and Guidance for more information and guidance.
The open burning of trash is illegal under any circumstance. Neither residents nor businesses may dispose of solid waste (often referred to as household trash) by burning it.
Some residential open burning of clean wood waste, such as brush and leaves, is permitted under state regulations, except in Lake, Porter, Clark and Floyd counties where all residential burning is banned.
Campfires and outdoor grills, for example, are permitted in all areas of the state (although individuals should be mindful that temporary bans may be put in place during drought conditions and local ordinances may place certain restrictions on these activities).
Where the residential open burning of clean brush and leaves is permitted, it is never advised. Residents are encouraged to consider other management alternatives, such as composting or using community collection programs.
IDEM’s Open Burning Brochure [PDF] contains more information about activities that do not require approval, restrictions, and prohibited activities and can be downloaded from the IDEM Web site. We encourage cities, towns, fire departments and neighbors to review, photocopy and share the brochure with others who can benefit from the information.