Open burning rules and regulations can be a little confusing. While there are a few categories of outdoor fires, we are focusing on two main types that we typically see in Colington: Open Burning of leaves and vegetation and Recreational fires. In either situation, fire safety is a priority and is the responsibility of the property owner or resident. At no time may you burn trash, furniture, processed wood, cardboard, etc. Nothing may be burned except natural vegetation.
Open burning of leaves and vegetation requires a permit from NC Forest Service if more than 100 feet from a structure. There is no cost for the permit. Open burning of yard debris, leaves and vegetation should only be done between 8 am and 6 pm. You must have a water source, rake or shovel and be with the open burn at all times. Burn barrels are best, but if you don’t have one available, please ensure the area in which you are burning is away from structures and other combustibles. Permits may be denied or revoked for unsafe burning or due to unfavorable weather conditions. Keep fires at least 20 feet away from structures or other combustible items. When not using a barrel, please keep piles small (less than 3 feet wide by 2 feet tall). You may be held liable for damage resulting from a careless fire, including damage to structures or woods and grasses. Be safe!
Online open burning permits from the NC Forest Service may be obtained here.
Recreational fires are defined by the North Carolina Fire Prevention Code as fires for pleasure, religious, ceremonial, cooking, warmth or similar purposes. (Outdoor grills and BBQ pits are not considered recreational fires) A permit is not required, but fire safety is the responsibility of the property owner or resident. There is no restriction on the diameter of logs. Remember, you may be held liable for damage resulting from a careless fire, including damage to structures or woods and grasses. Be safe!
Again, at no time may you burn trash, furniture, processed wood, cardboard, etc. Nothing may be burned except natural vegetation.
General Safety Tips
- Always have a water source and a rake ready and nearby.
- Be mindful of the weather. Wind can carry embers a very long way.
- Don’t burn close to wooded areas.
- Keep children a safe distance from fires.
- Never use gas or diesel to “freshen” or start a fire.
- Use a burn barrel fire pit, chiminea or similar item.
- Please be a good neighbor! Be aware of wind direction and smoke.
- Fully extinguish your fire before going to sleep.
- Never leave a fire unattended.
- Any fire may be restricted due to unfavorable weather or other conditions.
- Call 9 1 1 immediately if a fire gets out of control, or for any emergency.