Skip to main content

Backyard Burning Reminders Released

April 7, 2023

For Immediate Release - April 7, 2023

John Wakefield, Air Quality and Climate Compliance Section Chief
Department of Environmental Conservation

Backyard Burning Reminders Released

Montpelier, VT – With spring cleaning underway in some parts of the state, the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) wants to remind and encourage Vermonters to follow a few guidelines for on-premise or backyard open burning.

“Burning materials from spring cleanup can release harmful pollution that can impact neighboring properties,” said DEC Commissioner John Beling. “By following these guidelines, Vermonters can help reduce air pollution, avoid nuisance impacts, and protect human and environmental health.”

On-premise or backyard burning of brush, deadwood, or tree cuttings collected from normal property maintenance is allowed under the Vermont Air Pollution Control Regulations, as long as no public or private nuisance, such as excessive smoke, is created. Use these guidelines during backyard burning:

  • Allow green materials to dry before burning.
  • Consider the wind speed and direction before burning.
  • Ensure that the fire burns hot.
  • Check the Fire Danger Forecast from Forests, Parks and Recreation and postpone burning during periods of elevated fire danger.
  • Check the Air Quality Forecast and postpone burning if atmospheric conditions are not favorable to disperse the smoke.
  • Obtain a local burn permit from your Town Fire Warden.

“Our best suggestion is to avoid burning altogether and let the materials decompose naturally,” said John Wakefield, the DEC’s Compliance Section Chief for the Air Quality and Climate Division.

Find tips on what to do with excess leaves, grass, and wood – such as composting and brush piles – from the Waste Management and Prevention Division.

Learn more about open burning in Vermont from the Air Quality and Climate Division.


The Department of Environmental Conservation is responsible for protecting Vermont's natural resources and safeguarding human health for the benefit of this and future generations. Visit and follow the Department of Environmental Conservation on Facebook and Instagram.