Outdoor Burning and Wildland Fire
Did You Know?
Many people do not know or are not aware of Florida’s outdoor burning regulations, because they either moved here from out of state or never had a reason to burn. If you are not familiar with burning regulation in your area, this page can help you.
The Florida Forest Service administers Florida’s outdoor burning and forest fire laws. In Alachua County, only the City of Gainesville has a more stringent local law related to outdoor burning. The City of Gainesville open and outdoor burning ordinance can be viewed by clicking the following link. (https://library.municode.com/HTML/10819/level3/PTIICOOR_CH10FIPRPR_ARTVIOPOUBU.html#TOPTITLE).
Alachua County home owners and land owners will be most concerned with the following laws.
Residential Yard Waste Burning
NOTE: ***PROHIBITED*** Household paper is NOT allowed to be burned. Only vegetative material that is untreated and originating on your property may be burned following these regulations.
Location and setbacks for residential yard waste: (FAC 62-256.700(1)(a)4. and 5.)
Container and/or location:
- The fire is enclosed in a noncombustible container; or
- The fire is restricted to a pile no greater than eight (8’) feet in diameter built upon ground cleared of all combustible material
The fire is set back:
- At least 25 feet from any wildlands, brush, or combustible structure;
- 50 feet from any paved public roadway; and
- 150 feet from any occupied building other than that owned or leased by the individual doing the burning
FAC 62-256.200 - Definitions
- “Yard waste” means vegetative matter resulting from landscaping and yard maintenance operations and other such routine property clean-up activities. It includes materials such as leaves, shrub trimmings, grass clippings, palm fronds, and brush. It does not include land clearing debris or tree cutting debris.
FAC 62-256.700 - Open Burning Allowed.
- Open Burning of Yard Waste.
- Open burning of yard waste is allowed provided:
- The yard waste was generated on residential premises of not more than two family units;
- The open burning is conducted on the premises where the material was generated;
- The fire is ignited after 8:00 a.m. Central time or 9:00 a.m. Eastern time and extinguished no later than one hour before sunset, provided however that no burning shall be conducted during windy conditions;
- The fire is enclosed in a noncombustible container or is restricted to a pile no greater than eight feet in diameter built upon ground cleared of all combustible material;
- The fire is set back at least 25 feet from any wildlands, brush, or combustible structure, 50 feet from any paved public roadway, and 150 feet from any occupied building other than that owned or leased by the individual doing the burning;
- The fire is attended and adequate fire extinguishing equipment is readily available at all times; and
- The moisture content and composition of material to be burned is favorable to good burning which will minimize smoke.
- Except as provided above and at subsections 62-256.700(8) and (9), F.A.C., any other open burning of yard waste is allowed only if such burning is conducted using a Department-permitted air curtain incinerator operated in compliance with the provisions of Rule 62-296.401, F.A.C., and any other terms of the unit’s air permit.
Any burning in Alachua County outside of the parameters above including, but not limited to land clearing and prescribed burns must be preceded by a burn permit issued by the Florida Forest Service by calling 352-955-2010.
Open burning for land clearing:
FAC 62-256.200 - Definitions
- “Open burning” means the burning of any matter in such a manner that the products of combustion resulting from the burning are emitted directly into the outdoor atmosphere without passing through a stack or chimney.
FAC 62-256.700(3) – Open Burning of Land Clearing Debris
- Open Burning of Land Clearing Debris.
- Open burning of land clearing debris is allowed provided:
- The open burning is restricted to the site where the land clearing debris was generated;
- The fire is ignited after 8:00 a.m. Central time or 9:00 a.m. Eastern time and shall have no visible flame one hour before sunset or anytime thereafter, except in smoke sensitive areas as determined by the Florida Forest Service, where the fire must be extinguished no later than one hour before sunset;
- The fire is attended, and adequate fire extinguishing equipment is readily available at all times;
- The moisture content and composition of material to be burned is favorable to good burning which will minimize smoke; and
- Prior to conducting the open burning, the person responsible for the burn contacts the Florida Forest Service regarding the planned burning activity.
- Except as provided above, any other open burning of land clearing debris shall be conducted using an air curtain incinerator operated in compliance with the terms of the exemption from air permitting at Rule 62-210.300, F.A.C., if such exemption applies, or if such exemption does not apply, in compliance with the provisions of Rule 62-296.401, F.A.C., and any other terms of the unit’s air permit.
FAC 5I-2.003 - Definitions
- “Pile Burning” is any burning of silvicultural, agricultural or land clearing and tree cutting debris originating on site that has been stacked together in a round or linear (windrow) fashion.
FAC 5I-2.006(4) – Open Burning Allowed
- Pile Burning General. The size and number of piles shall be dictated by the materials to be burned and the time available for burning. All pile burning must adhere to the following:
- The moisture content and composition of the materials to be burned shall be favorable to good burning which will minimize emissions. The amount of dirt in the piles or rows shall be minimized to enhance combustion and reduce emissions; and
- The pile or windrow burning must be set back one hundred (100) feet from any paved public roadway and the prevailing winds will direct the smoke away from any occupied buildings (other than the landowners) or roads. Pile burning for paved public road maintenance and widening is exempt from the 100 foot set back as long as the visibility on the roadway is not reduced to less than 1,000 feet; and
- The pile burning is attended at all times; and
- The pile burning must meet one of the following setback requirements:
- Residential, and Agricultural/Silvicultural pile burning must be set back three hundred (300) feet or more away from any occupied building other than that of the landowner and fifty (50) feet from any wildlands, brush or combustible structure.
- Non-Residential pile burning without an Air Curtain Incinerator must be set back one thousand (1,000) feet or more away from any occupied building and one hundred (100) feet from any wildlands, brush or combustible structure.
- Exception to Setbacks – An exception to the setbacks in subparagraphs 5I-2.006(4)(d)1. and 2., F.A.C., will be granted if all of the affected parties agree in writing to allow the burn to take place.
FAC 5I-2.004 Open Burning Not Allowed.
- Listed below are the types of open burning not allowed in Florida:
- Any open burning disallowed by Rule Chapters 5I-2 and 62-256, F.A.C., or Chapters 403 and 590, F.S.
- Open burning of biological waste, hazardous waste, asbestos containing materials, mercury-containing devices, pharmaceuticals, tires, rubber material, residual oil, used oil, asphalt, roofing material, tar, treated wood, plastics, garbage, or trash other than yard trash as provided in subsection 62-256.700(1), F.A.C., except that structures may be burned for the training of fire fighters in accordance with subsection 62-256.700(4), F.A.C.; waste pesticide containers may be burned in accordance with subsection 62-256.700(5), F.A.C.; polyethylene agricultural plastic and untreated wood pallets used in agriculture may be burned in accordance with subsection 62-256.700(7), F.A.C.; and animal carcasses may be burned in accordance with subsection 62-256.700(6), F.A.C.
- Open burning that reduces visibility at a public airport, unless the airport in question has been contacted and has agreed to control air traffic during burning activities to avoid any possible smoke related problems.
- Open burning when an air pollution episode exists or is forecast to occur.
- Open burning during a National Weather Service Air Stagnation Advisory.
- Open burning which reduces visibility on paved public roadways to less than one thousand (1000) feet unless the regulating authorities have agreed to control traffic, or have delegated the authority to control traffic.
- Burning in smoke sensitive areas between one hour before sunset and 9:00 a.m. the next day.
- All open burning when the Florida Forest Service determines that the fire poses a threat to public health, safety, and property protection.
- Open burning when the Florida Forest Service determines that atmospheric or meteorological conditions indicate improper dispersion of smoke that threatens public health, safety, or general welfare; or which would obscure visibility of vehicular or air traffic; or violates the condition of the authorization, or burning prescription.
- Open burning authorizations will be denied to any burner who repeatedly violates Florida law or agency rules. This denial remains in effect until the concern that caused the denial has been mitigated in consultation with the Florida Forest Service District/ Center Manager.
Full regulations for all burning can be found at: