Outdoor Burning

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Definitions

Clean wood means natural wood which has not been painted, varnished or coated with a similar material; has not been pressure treated with preservatives; and does not contain resins or glues as in plywood or composite wood products. 

Open Burning  means the burning of materials wherein products of combustion are emitted directly into the ambient air without passing through a stack or chimney from an enclosed chamber. Open burning does not include recreational fires or use of portable outdoor fireplaces.

Portable Outdoor Fireplace means a portable, outdoor, solid-fuel-burning fireplace that may be constructed of steel, concrete, clay or other noncombustible material. A portable outdoor fireplace may be open in design, or may be equipped with a small hearth opening and a short chimney or chimney opening in the top. 

Recreational fire means an outdoor fire burning in which only logs or clean wood are being burned where the fuel is not contained in an incinerator, outdoor fireplace, barbeque grill or barbeque pit and has a total fuel area of three feet or less in diameter and two feet or less in height for pleasure, religious, ceremonial, cooking, warmth or similar purposes, and which is not used to dispose of rubbish or yard waste.

General Information

No outside burning of rubbish/yard waste (as defined in 50-27) is allowed at any time within the city limits.


These types of fires DO NOT require a permit and are allowed all year
:

  • Grilling or cooking using charcoal, clean wood, propane or natural gas.
  • Burning of a recreational fire.
  • Burning in a chiminea, portable outdoor fireplace, fire bowl or similar device.

Open Burning is allowed October 1st through March 30th after obtaining a Residential Burn Permit

If you plan on conducting an open burn with a total fuel area larger than three feet in diameter and two feet in height, you must first obtain a Residential Burn Permit from the Smyrna Fire Marshal's Office.

Residential Burn Permits will only be issued from October 1st through March 30th and remain valid the entire season.  

This type of burning MUST comply with the following provisions:

  • Permit allows for the burning of clean wood only.
  • Permits can only be utilized from 9am until one hour before the official time of sunset.
  • Permits are NOT valid for the burning of leaves, clean wood bigger than 6” in diameter, plastic, rubber, rubbish or trash.

Residential burn permits must be obtained prior to initiating an open burn. 

Permits are available FREE of charge and may be obtained by clicking HERE.

If you need additional assistance, please call the Smyrna Fire Marshal's Office  at 678-631-5375 during normal business hours.

IMPORTANT:

Once you have obtained a valid permit, you MUST activate your permit by calling the burn permit hotline
(available 24/7) at 678-631-5455 each time you plan to burn.

Safeguards/Limitations for Outdoor Burning

  • Burning of petroleum-based products, such as tires, plastics, and roof shingles, which produce black smoke, is prohibited.
  • Burning of any material in a barrel is prohibited.
  • Open burning shall not be less than 50 feet from any structure, and provisions shall be made to prevent the fire from spreading to within 50 feet from any structure.   
  • Recreational fires shall not be located within 25 feet of any structure or other combustible material. Conditions which could cause a fire to spread within 25 feet of a structure shall be eliminated prior to ignition.
  • Open Burning, recreational fires and use of portable outdoor fireplaces must be constantly attended by an adult who must be outdoors within 100 feet of the fire and watching the fire at all times. A charged water hose that can reach the fire or minimum 4A fire extinguisher must be on hand and ready for use if needed for fire control/extinguishment. The nozzle of the charged water hose or fire extinguisher must be kept within 25 feet of the fire.
  • Upon event completion, all fires must be extinguished to where no smoldering or hot coals remain. 

The Smyrna Fire Marshal may ban outdoor burning when:

  • Atmospheric or local conditions make outdoor burning hazardous.
  • It adversely interferes with the enjoyment of life or use of property.
  • A resident is adversely affected by the smoke due to a medical condition.

Bonfires

Recreational fires within any property used for anything other than a residence for one or two families shall require a special use permit from the Fire Marshal's Office under the following provisions:

  • All special use permit applications must be filed with the fire marshal a minimum of fourteen (14) days prior to the date of the proposed Recreational Fire.
  • The fire marshal shall make an inspection of the proposed ignition site and assess any potential hazardous conditions.
  • A permit under this section shall be valid for only the  dates, times, and locations approved.  

To obtain a special use permit, contact the Smyrna Fire Marshal's Office at 678-631-5375.

Outdoor Burning Ordinance

CITY OF SMYRNA, GA, CODE OF ORDINANCES, CHAPTER 50, FIRE PREVENTION AND PROTECTION, ARTICLE 1, IN GENERAL, SECTION 50-7, OUTDOOR BURNING

(Ord. No. 2019-09, 5-6-19)

Click HERE to view the ordinance online.

Fines and Penalties 

Violations of the outdoor burning ordinance may result in fines and/or other penalties.

Additional Information

If you have a complaint or problem regarding outdoor burning in your area, please call 911 when the burning is occurring.

Open Burning Infographic