Open Burning

Elbert County and the Town of Elizabeth burn restricts County Ordinance Number 20-02

For purposes of this ordinance, "open fire" or "open burning" shall be defined as any outdoor fire, including, but not limited to, campfires, warming fires, charcoal grill fires, fires in wood-burning stoves, the use of explosives, outdoor welding or hot work, fireworks of all kinds OR brands, and the prescribed burning of fence lines, or rows, fields, farmlands, rangelands, wildlands, trash, and debris. Open fires shall not include:

  • Fires in camp stoves or grills, fueled by bottled gas, or pressurized liquid, and specifically designed for cooking or heating purposes.
  • Fires in permanently constructed stationary masonry or metal fireplaces specifically designed for the purpose of combustion;
  • Fires in commercially operated wood and/or charcoal-fired grills designed for cooking.

Fire Restrictions

Stage I

Activities allowed without permit:

  • Fires within liquid-fueled or gas-fueled stoves, grills, fire pits, or other gas/liquid-fueled appliances
  • Outdoor welding or hot work
  • Residential use of charcoal grills, smokers, tiki torches, fires in chimineas, or other portable fireplaces or patio fire pits must be supervised by a responsible person at least 18 years old. Portable fires and chimineas must have a lid or screen, and all openings must be less than 1/4 inch.
  • Use of indoor fireplaces and wood-burning stoves with an approved chimney spark arrestor.
  • Small recreational fires contained in fixed permanent metal/steel fire pits (rock fire rings are considered temporary and not permanent) with flam lengths not more than four feet. Recreational pit dimensions shall not exceed 3 feet in diameter and 2 feet in depth.
  • Sale and use of fireworks in compliance with state and local regulations
  • Use of educational rockets
  • Recreational shooting and target practice
  • Discharge of firearms

Acts requiring a permit from local fire department:

  • Open burning per local fire department regulations
  • Professional firework displays
  • Tethered sky lanterns

Stage II

Activities allowed without permit:

  • Use of indoor fireplaces and wood-burning stoves with an approved chimney spark arrestor
  • Fires within liquid-fueled or gas-fueled stoves, grills, fire pits, or other gas/liquid fueled appliances
  • Residential use of charcoal grill fires and smokers when such use is supervised by a responsible party at least 18 years of age
  • Fire suppression or fire department training fires
  • Discharge of firearms

Activities allowed with permit from local fire department:

  • Outdoor welding or hot work
  • Professional firework displays
  • Use of educational rockets
  • Small recreational fires contained in fixed permanent metal/steel fire pits (Rock fire rings are considered temporary and not permanent.) with flame lengths not more than 4 feet. Recreational pit dimensions shall not exceed 3 feet in diameter and 2 feet in depth

Execeptions from the Ordinance

Persons with a permit or written authorization from the local fire authority specifically authorizing in advance the otherwise prohibited act or omission, after inspection by the local fire authority of the containment structure, surrounding vegetation and potential fire fuel, and the immediate availability of fire suppression apparatus.

Open Burning Protocol

Open Burning

What It Is

The burning of materials wherein products of combustion is emitted directly into the ambient air without passing through a stack or chimney from an enclosed chamber.

Provisions

  • The maximum pile size shall be no bigger than 6x6x4.
  • The location 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 of any structure.
  • Burn areas must not be under any tree canopy.
  • Fires in approved containers can be 15 feet from a structure.
  • A pile 3-foot diameter and 2 feet high can be located 25 feet from structures.

Recreational Fire

What It Is

An outdoor fire burning materials other than rubbish where the fuel being burned is not contained. The total fuel area is less than 3 feet in diameter and 2 feet in height for pleasure, religious, ceremonial, cooking, warmth, or similar purpose.

Provisions

Recreational fires shall not be conducted within 25 feet of a structure or combustible material. Conditions that could cause a fire to spread within 25 feet of a structure shall be eliminated prior to ignition.

Bonfire

What It Is

An outdoor fire utilized for ceremonial purposes, Family reunions, picnics, parties, homecoming, etc.

Provisions

The location shall not be less than 50 feet for a structure or combustible material unless the fire is contained in a barbecue pit. Conditions that could cause a fire to spread within 50 feet of a structure shall be eliminated prior to ignition.

Outdoor Fireplace

What It Is

A portable/fixed, outdoor, solid-fuel-burning fireplace that may be constructed of steel, concrete, clay or other noncombustible material. A portable/fixed outdoor fireplace may be open in design with a spark arresting cover (holes no bigger than ¼”), or maybe equipped with a small hearth opening and a short chimney or chimney opening in the top.