Illegal Burning

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Report Illegal Burning 
Click here to report complaints about illegal burning.

Many people have been burning their trash for a long time, but the fact of the matter is that it’s against the law.

If It Doesn’t Grow – Don’t Burn It!

That means no burning trash, lumber, tires or old newspapers! If you live within Greensboro, High Point, Jamestown or Gibsonville, burning of yard waste is prohibited at all times, because curbside yard waste collection is available in these communities.

Smoke Can Hurt You and Others

Smoke and soot from illegal burning can cause serious health problems, air pollution, and damage the environment.

Never burn:
• Garbage, paper or cardboard
• Tires
• Building materials, including lumber and wood scraps
• Wire, plastics and other synthetic materials
• Shingles
• Paint and household chemicals
• Buildings, mobile homes and other structures
• ANYTHING AT ALL, when there is a burn ban or the Air Quality Forecast is Code Orange, Red or Purple!  Check today’s Air Quality Forecast

Other permissible burning includes campfires, outdoor barbecues and bonfires for festive occasions.

Landowners and contractors may also be able to burn for the purpose of clearing land and rights-of-way. Please contact the North Carolina Division of Air Quality for applicable regulations and additional information.

Burning of yard waste, as described above, must take place between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. The fire must be attended and no new material can be added after 6:00 p.m.

You may need a permit from the Guilford County Forest Ranger. Please be aware that obtaining such a permit does not excuse the violation of any applicable federal, state or local ordinances that regulate open burning.


Fines can be as high as $25,000 or more for serious cases or repeat violations. Substantial fines may be assessed even for minor or first-time offenses.