Open Burning

Smoke from open burning can aggravate existing medical conditions as well as cause long term health problems (see below). The Forsyth County Office of Environmental Assistance and Protection (EAP) enforces the Open Burning Regulations contained in 3D .1900 of the Forsyth County Air Quality Code.

Visit the links below for more information on Open Burning!

For rules and information governing proper disposal\recycling of garbage go to our Solid Waste web page

To Report Illegal Open Burning

  • Monday - Friday between the hours of 8:00 am and 5:00 pm, please call (336) 703-2440 to speak to our staff.
  • After work hours, please use our online Open Burning Complaint Form or leave a message on our voicemail at (336) 703-2420.

Health Concerns of Open Burning

Smoke from open burning can cause adverse effects to health. Smoke from burning garbage/trash contains many toxic pollutants, some that cause cancer. Additionally, fine particulate matter from burning is one of the more harmful air pollutants to public health. It is especially harmful to young people whose lungs are still developing as well as those with cardiovascular or respiratory ailments. Several studies have shown increased visits to emergency rooms within days after events involving high concentrations of fine particulate matter. For more information, see U.S. EPA’s Human Health webpage.

Open Burning Adds Particulate Matter to Air Monitored in the Triad Area

Smoke from open burning adds fine particulate matter to the Triad air that this Office monitors for compliance with National Air Quality Standards established based on health concerns. Compliance with the daily standard for particulate matter during the months of May through September is a particular concern in the Triad. If the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency designated the Triad as “non-attainment” for particulate matter, it could cost the area millions of dollars due to increased regulatory requirements on industry and mobile sources.