How to Safely Burn Weeds

Fire Prevention: How to Safely Burn Weeds?

How do you safely burn weeds? Whether there is a red flag fire warning or not, proper fire safety protocols can prevent a disaster.

Before You Get Started

Many places have strict regulations around when and where you can have a “residential open burn”. In Utah, you must gain a permit through the Utah Department of Environmental Quality. Many states have similar requirements and guidelines.

For more information, see the Utah Department of Environmental Quality’s website:

What You Should and Should Not Burn

Controlled residential open burns should only include lawn waste. Weeds and untreated wood are both ok to burn once they are dry. 

For your safety and the safety of those around you, keep these things out of your fire pit:

  • Plastics — Plastics release toxic fumes into the air when they are burned. Recycle or properly dispose of plastics.
  • Treated wood — This includes pallets, painted wood, particleboard, or any wood with a finish or chemicals on it. These chemicals will release toxins into the air when burned.
  • Poisonous plants — Poison Ivy, Oak, and Sumac react with the skin because of the oils in the leaves. If those oils get into the air, they can cause severe respiratory reactions. To check your weeds for poison ivy and sumac, use this handy guide about poisonous plants.
  • Trash — Your trash can be full of materials that will pollute the air with toxic fumes. Stick to yard waste.

Tips to Safely Burn Weeds

When burning yard waste, you want to follow general fire safety protocols. Especially in dry months, you need to be very careful about starting a larger fire. 

Follow these guidelines, and you should be ready to clear your yard waste.

  • Clear the area — Don’t have any debris, grasses, other plants, or anything flammable close to the fire pit. A stray spark can ignite any kind of fuel. Clear an at least 10’ wide berth around the pit before starting the fire.
  • Have materials to put out the fire — Have materials ready in case you need to extinguish the fire in a hurry. Make sure that you have enough for the size of fire that you are making. A garden hose and a few buckets of water will do the trick.
  • Contain the fire — Use rocks, pavers, or some other non-flammable substance to surround the fire area.
  • Check the weather — Make sure that it will not be windy. Wind can take sparks far away from your cleared area and cause them to ignite quickly. Wind can also cause your fire to grow quickly and get out of control.

Contact Black Diamond Water Damage & Disaster Restoration

Research the guidelines in your area and follow the guidelines above to safely burn weeds. Oftentimes, there are better ways to dispose of your weeds, though. If you do choose to burn your weeds, and the fire gets out of hand, Black Diamond Water Damage & Disaster Restoration can help restore your home or structures. If you have any questions about our services, please contact us. We serve Salt Lake City, Murray, and surrounding areas in Utah. 


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