Outdoor Burning Info

Outdoor burning safety graphic for web page

These guidelines apply to single-family dwellings and two-family dwellings (duplex) only. Other types of homes or group use are not allowed open burning unless a designated space is approved by the fire department.*

Your fire needs to be in a container that is in good condition and is difficult to burn. This can be as simple as dirt and a ring of rocks (no roots or other vegetation inside or around the ring) or as fancy as a permanent outdoor fireplace. Other good ideas are fire rings, fire bowls, chimineas, and fire pits.

Use the fuel designed for your appliance such as natural gas, propane, or wood. Only use dry, cut or split firewood; do not burn rubbish, garbage, or yard waste including grass and branches. 

Burn wood stacked no more than 3 feet in diameter and 2 feet high in the burn container.*

We recommend that your fire is at least 15 feet from things that will catch fire including trees, overhanging branches, walls, decks, and patios.

Be ready to put the fire out. Keep a bucket of water, shovel, connected garden hose, or fire extinguisher close by.

Someone who can extinguish the fire must monitor the fire at all times. Sparks and brands can quickly start an unwanted fire, especially on warm and windy days.

If your smoke is bothering your neighbors, you may need to put the fire out.

Ensure the weather is not too windy and not too hot. You are responsible for all damage caused by your fire, even if wind caused the fire to spread. You could also be responsible for the cost of extinguishing the fire if you were negligent in preventing the fire.  

Always follow manufacturer's instructions. Click here to download a copy of these safety guidelines and a sketch of suggested placement.

*Fine print, disclaimers, and exclusions

  • Backyard burning is used here to describe a nice evening around a fire on your private property regardless if it is in your backyard, front yard, or driveway. It does not include bonfires, agriculture burn, burning weeds, etc.
  • These guidelines do not apply to barbeque grills or other similar cooking appliances. We strongly recommend cooking appliances be kept away from walls, fences, railing, trees, and similar dangers. Extreme care should be used when grilling if conditions are dangerous for backyard burning.
  • If you are burning fuel stacked more than 3 feet in diameter by 2 feet high, burning yard debris including a slash pile, or otherwise exceeding these safety requirements such as burning for a sweat lodge, you need a permit. The only exception is if you have been given a rare continual-use permit. Click here to download a permit request and requirements. Return completed permits to our administrative offices at 10 Main Street.


Is there an Outdoor Burning Ban? No. Learn more here. 

When is it too dangerous to have a fire? Learn more here. 

More in this category: « Fire Danger Information

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