Burn Laws

Open Burning Restriction Areas

(Click here to find out if you are allowed to burn)

In accordance with Hanover County Brush FireCode, 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
  • Anywhere in the Town of Ashland (in accordance with Ashland Code of Ordinances, Section 7-2)

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. 

Open burning is permitted in accordance with any restrictions the fire marshal may impose for public safety purposes for bona fide fire services instruction with a permit from the fire marshal; for campfires or other fires used solely for recreational and similar purposes or for outdoor noncommercial preparation of food; for safety flares or for warming of outdoor workers

Permissible open burning, recreational fires, and use of portable outdoor fireplaces shall be attended at all times by a person eighteen (18) years of age or older and with legal authority by the owner or agent of the property until the fire is extinguished.

The attendant of permissible open burning, recreational fires, and portable outdoor fireplaces shall have a means to extinguish the fire to include but not limited to portable fire extinguishers or fire extinguishing equipment, such as dirt, sand, water barrel, garden hose or water truck.

Open burning or the use of a special incineration device is permitted in the disposal of leaves and tree, yard, and garden trimmings for properties zones agricultural and located outside the suburban service area except for the dates and times listed below:

  • February 15th – April 30th: Open burning is restricted to the hours of 4:00 pm – 12:00 Midnight
  • May 1st – September 30th: Burning is restricted by size.  The open burn shall not exceed the size of a bonfire. (NO PERMITS WILL BE ISSUED DURING THIS TIME)
  • October 15th – December 15th: Open burning is restricted to the hours of 4:00 pm – 12:00 Midnight


Permits shall be made to the fire marshal at least fourteen (14) days prior to the burning through the application provided above. Permits shall be effective for a maximum period of ninety (90) days from the date of issuance.

Hanover County Burn Ordinance:

Sec. 9-12. - Open burning is regulated within Hanover County..

Sec. 9-13. - Permit requirements; extinguishment.

Sec. 9-14. - Open fires may be prohibited in all or part of the county.

Sec. 9-15.1. - Penalty for violation or noncompliance.

Sec. 9-17. - Limitation on setting fires in or near woodlands or brushlands.

DEQ Burn Ban

Effective May 1st– September 30th

Seasonal Restrictions: In accordance with Virginia’s air quality regulations, controlled burning is not permitted in volatile organic compounds emissions control areas, including Hanover County, during the months of May, June, July, August, and September of each year. Therefore, the Fire Marshal’s Office will not issue controlled burning permits for anything bigger than a 5x5x5 pile. Permits already issued shall become invalid. This restriction does not apply to lawful bonfires or recreational fires.