How to Safely Burn Autumn Leaves. There are many different ways to dispose of fallen leaves in autumn. Some towns offer a weekly leaf pickup or you can use leaves for compost or mulch. As a last resort, you can burn your leaves. Be sure that you know how to safely burn leaves so that you don't cause any damage to your yard or home.
Learn to Safely Burn Autumn Leaves
Consider all your alternatives before burning your leaves. These fires are unhealthy for the environment because leaves on fire release dangerous hydrocarbons into the air.
Call your town fire department and tell them that you would like to burn some of your leaves. The fire department will let you know when a good day for a fire will be and if you need to obtain any special permits from the station or the town.
Set aside pile of leaves you wish to burn. You should try to burn only dry leaves because they make less smoke and burn much quicker. You'll need to clear the perimeter of any flammable materials. You should have 6 feet cleared in every direction around the pile of leaves.
Light the leaves. Your fire department will tell you the best way to start the fire. You shouldn't have to use any kind of liquid to provoke the fire. You may have to light a branch on fire and then toss it into the leaf pile.
Watch the fire. You should be monitoring the fire at all times and be prepared to put it out or call the fire department at the first sign of trouble. If you have a garden hose that is long enough to reach the fire, keep it nearby.
Hose the fire down once it burns out. You'll want to soak it thoroughly with water to put out any embers that might still be glowing. Potentially poisonous carbon monoxide gas is release from leaves if they are allowed to continue smoldering.
Gather up the autumn leave ash safely and properly dispose of it as directed by the fire department. Your fire department may have a special container for you to use. Otherwise, place the ashes in a metal container to reduce the risk of an out of control fire.