Open Burning - Residential

Open Burning Restriction Areas

In accordance with Hanover County Code, Chapter 9, Public Safety, Article III, Division I: In addition to any seasonal burn restrictions that may be implemented, areas in Hanover County where open burning is restricted at all times include:

  • Properties in the urban service area
  • Properties zoned R-1, R-2, R-3, R-4, R-5, R-6, RS (Unless the Office of the Fire Marshal has approved the resident for burning, burning is not allowed)
  • Anywhere in the Town of Ashland (in accordance with Ashland Code of Ordinances, Section 7-2)

Recreational fire are allowed at any time of year, regardless of residential or agricultural zoning, anywhere in the county

Definition: An outdoor fire burning materials other than rubbish where the fuel being burned is not contained in an incinerator, outdoor fireplace, portable fireplace, barbeque grill, or barbeque pit and has a total fuel area of three (3) feet or less in diameter or two (2) feet or less in height for pleasure, religious ceremonial, cooking, warmth or similar purpose.

Brush Fire

If a property is zoned, residential-only recreational fires are permitted. To burn larger piles on property zoned residential property, approval from the Office of the Fire Marshal is required to ensure safe distances from neighboring structures exist.

Open Burning Chart

No garbage, household waste, or trash can be burned in Hanover County. Please click the link below for definitions outlined in the County ordinance.

Hanover County Open Burning Ordinance Definitions

Use the burn law map (PDF) to determine if your property is in one of these areas.

To look up your property’s zoning, you can use our Parcel Search and Mapping Application at Hanover County GIS to find your zone.

4 P.M. Burning Law

Outdoor fires unlawful before 4 p.m., February 15th through April 30th

Outdoor fires unlawful before 4 p.m., October 15 through December 15th

The 4 p.m. Burning Law comes into effect each fall and spring. These are different from the burning bans, which are invoked only during periods of extreme fire danger.

During these dates each year, you cannot burn before 4 p.m. if the fire is within 300 feet of woodland, brushland, or fields containing dry grass or other flammable materials.

The danger of fire is higher in early spring than in summer when the forest and grasses are green with new growth.