Teachers & Students

Image stating "Breathe... Don't Burn!" From the North Carolina Air Awareness Program

Open Burning Rule

The Open Burning Rule is one of North Carolina's oldest air quality regulations, first adopted in 1971. The rule prohibits most outdoor burning and sets conditions for allowable fires. Under the rule, it is always illegal to burn trash and other non-vegetative materials. Leaves, branches and other plant growth can be burned under certain conditions. Violators can be fined up to $25,000 or more.


We need your help to keep our air clean and healthy for everyone. Please consider using these activities in your classroom. The three activities in this curriculum all fit with the North Caorlina essential standards, and are a great way to get your students involved in environmental issues.

OBOT (Open Burning Outreach Team)

The Open Burning Outreach Team (OBOT) works to spread a simple message; burning man made trash is dangerous, produces unhealthy air pollution, and is illegal.


Download lesson plans, learn how we connect to the Essential Standards, and order FREE Brochures and Information.


Conduct preliminary research for "Breathe, Don't Burn!" projects. Learn the basics about open burning and air pollution. Find out how to contact local Division of Air Quality staff to learn more.  Look for the resources and additional link sections on the activity page.

1-877-Open Burn