Outdoor Burning

Records Building - 500 Elm Street, Suite 0500, Dallas TX 75202
Phone: (214) 653-7970

Burn Ban Information

Burn Ban Information:  A burn ban is an emergency declaration submitted through recommendations by the County Fire Marshal, Forest Service and Weather Service which prohibits any out door burning or open flame during special times of draught or extreme weather conditions. In Addition, there is a scale called the Keetch-Byrom Drought Index that is used which measures the moisture in the soil that is directly proportional to that found in vegetation.

This procedure goes through the agenda process with the Commissioner’s Court and County Judge approve before being placed into effect.

General Requirements for Outdoor Burning

There may be local ordinances or county burn ban regulations that must be met. Under ALL of the exceptions, the burning must not create a nuisance or traffic hazard, and you must comply with all applicable local rules or ordinances.

These are general requirements for allowable outdoor burning.

  • The party responsible for the burn must be present and remains liable for damages, injuries or other consequences that may result from burning, even when it is carried out in compliance with these regulations.
  • Burn only outside the corporate limits of a city or town, unless the incorporated city or town has an ordinance that permits burning.
  • Burn only when the wind direction and weather conditions (wind less than 15mph) are such that smoke and other pollutants will not present a hazard to any public road, landing strip or navigable water body(lake, river, stream, bay) or have an adverse effect on any off-site structure containing “sensitive receptors” (residence, business, farm, building, greenhouse).
  • Keep fires downwind, or at least 500 feet away, from any neighboring structure that contains sensitive receptors. This requirement may be waived with the prior written approval of whoever owns or rents the adjacent property and either resides or conducts business there.
  • Post someone to flag traffic if the burning causes smoke to blow onto the road or highway at any time.
  • Begin burning no earlier than one hour after sunrise, end it the same day, and no later than one hour before sunset.
  • Don’t burn electrical insulation, treated lumber, plastics, non-wood construction/demolition materials, heavy oils, asphaltic materials, potentially explosive materials, chemical wastes and items, containing natural or synthetic rubber.
  • No materials may be brought onto the site to be burned.

You Must Still Comply

  • If you qualify for an exception and meet the general requirements for allowable outdoor burning, you are still subject to nuisance conditions under the Texas Administrative Code 101.4 and the Texas Health Code and Safety Code 341,343 and 382.
  • Punishments are created under the Texas Water Code, Chapter 7.177.
  • Texas Health and Safety Code 382.018 provides Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to authorize outdoor burning of waste. Fire Marshals and Chiefs do not have this authority.

Outdoor Burning Regulations


  1. You may not burn in the unicorporated area of Dallas County unless you have been issued a burn permit.
  2. A daily burn permit must be obtained by submitting a burn permit application for the specific area you wish to burn to the Dallas County Fire Marshal’s Office
  3. ONLY dry plant growth natural to the burn site can be burned.
  4. The burn site must be at least 300 feet from any residential, recreational, commercial or industrial area. Exceptions:
    1. Fires in approved containers that are not less than 25 feet from a structure.
    2. The minimum required distance from a structure shall be 25 feet where the pile size is 3 feet for less in diameter and 2 feet or less in height.
  5. There must be a fire break of 50 feet around the material to be burned.
  6. A competent person of at least 18 years of age must be in attendance of the site during the burn.
  7. An adequate supply of water to control the burn is required at the site.
  8. If complaints are received and the complaint is valid (to be determined by the Fire Marshal, Fire Department or Law Enforcement Officer), burning will have to cease.
  9. Hours of burning are from sunrise to sunset as set forth by the United States Naval Observatory tables available from the National Weather Service.
  10. Hauling of materials, brush or vegetation onto the site from another property will render this permit invalid.
  11. NO Burn Days are determined as follows:
    1. Wind is expected to be above 15 mph
    2. Ozone Action Day has been issued for the DFW area
    3. If Dallas County Commissioners Court in-acts a “Burn Ban” on all outdoor burning


  1. Petroleumm products
  2. Aspaltic materials
  3. Items containing natural or synthetic rubber
  4. Lumber Household garbage / refuse (including newspapers and boxes)

Authorization to conduct outdoor burning does not exempt or excuse a person from the responsibility, consequences, damages, or injuries resulting from the authorized burning and does not excuse a person from complying with other applicable laws, ordinances or regulations.

Prior to burning, please call the Dallas County Fire Marshal’s Office for more information

Dallas County Fire Marshal’s Office
Records Building 
500 Elm Street,
Suite 0500
Dallas, Texas 75202