Outside Burning Regulations


Recreational burning is allowed with the following restrictions:

North Carolina Fire Code (2012)—Locally Adopted Amendments

307.1.1 Prohibited Burning
Burning that is offensive or objectionable because of smoke or odor emissions, or when atmospheric conditions or local circumstances make such fires hazardous, shall be prohibited.

307.3 Extinguishment Authority
The fire code official is authorized to order the extinguishment by the responsible person, or the fire department, of any burning that creates or adds to a hazardous or objectionable situation.

A “fire pit” includes belowground pits, freestanding fireplaces, and portable devices intended to contain and control outdoor fires.

All belowground fire pits shall be at least four inches in depth and shall be surrounded on the outside, aboveground, by a non-combustible material such as steel, brick, or masonry. The fire pit cannot exceed three feet in diameter, nor may the fire pile exceed two feet in height.

Fire pits may be used in accordance with the manufacturer’s specifications and these regulations:

  • Only natural firewood/commercial logs may be burned.
    • Burning of pallets, scrap wood, leaves, yard waste, paper, cardboard, garbage and similar items is not permitted.
  • All fire pits must be located away from any structure or combustible material.
    • Belowground fire pits and freestanding fireplaces must be located a minimum of 25 feet away from any structure or combustible material. 
  • The fire must be constantly attended and supervised until the fire has been completely extinguished.
  • A portable fire extinguisher or other approved extinguishing equipment, such as a garden hose, must be readily available.