ROSCOE — Three villages in Winnebago County have banned the burning of yard waste through the end of April.

Temporary bans in Roscoe and Rockton went into effect Wednesday. Machesney Park's prohibition starts on Monday.

“We’re doing it out of an abundance of concern for the respiratory ailments of residents especially during this time of COVID-19,” village of Roscoe administrator Scott Sanders said. “We’re also doing it to preserve our emergency response resources.”

In Roscoe, violations of the order could result in a fine up to $750.

Yard waste that cannot be burned during this time includes brush, leaves, sticks, stumps, pine needles and agricultural vegetation. Clean burning of firewood for recreational or warming purposes is still allowed, but is restricted to fire pits or other designated fire containment devices.

The burning of fuels specific to outdoor cooking such as natural gas, propane and charcoal will also still be allowed in designated grills or other outdoor cooking appliances.

The burning of yard waste is permitted in Roscoe, Rockton, Machesney Park and unincorporated Winnebago County during selected time periods in the spring and fall.

Yard waste burning is illegal year round in Rockford and Loves Park.

Ken DeCoster: 815-987-1391; kdecoster@rrstar.com; @DeCosterKen