TRUMBULL CO., Ohio (WKBN) — Now that we’ve entered the month of March, Ohio’s ban on outdoor burning has taken effect. Here’s why it’s so important to follow the law.

The statewide burn ban is in effect for the next three months. During the ban, outdoor burning is prohibited between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m.

“The state puts this into effect for a reason. It’s not a local fire department, it’s not the state trying to overstep anything — it’s to protect you, the homeowner,” says Brookfield fire Chief David Masirovits.

Even burning debris and yard waste in a proper burn barrel is against the law while the ban is in effect.

“These times, with the dry foliage on the ground, even open burning can create a potential hazard when the winds pick up and take the leaves and embers,” says Newton Falls fire Chief James Williamson.

Fire officials say it’s important to comply with the law because a small fire can turn into something much larger rather quickly.

“A prime example: Last week in Paris Township, when the lady just decided to burn some debris and she ended up burning three acres,” says Williamson.

“I can’t tell you how many times we go out to what was, ‘I was just burning in the burn barrel,’ or, ‘It was just a small fire and I walked away, and the next thing I knew, the woods were on fire,'” says Masirovits.

The ban is also in place during October and November.