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Bonfires Restricted

  • Bonfires and agricultural burning are illegal in Baltimore County without a permit.
  • Leaf burning is prohibited throughout the county; the Department of Public Works collects leaves and other yard waste as part of its regular collection schedule.
  • Open burning, including recreational bonfires, is prohibited inside the perimeter of the Beltway (I-695).
  • Outside the Beltway, recreational bonfires require a permit from the local Office of the Fire Marshal, 410-887-4880.

Agricultural Burning 

  • The burning of agricultural debris such as brush, stumps and limbs not associated with building construction - requires approval by the Department of Environmental Protection and Sustainability, 410-887-3745.
  • The material to be burned must have originated on the property where the burning will take place.
  • The Department of Environmental Protection and Sustainability inspects the site to ensure that it meets the criteria for an agricultural burn and, if those criteria are met, authorizes the Fire Marshal's Office to issue a permit.
  • If you do secure a permit for a bonfire or agricultural burning, you must keep the permit at the site of the fire until the burning is complete.
  • The county fire code requires a bulldozer with a competent operator at large bonfires; the bulldozer may be used to control the fire by covering it with earth or by some other means, if the need arises.

Detailed information on bonfires and agricultural burning regulations is available online.

Fire Marshal's Tip Sheet

The Fire Marshal's tip sheet on outdoor burning (PDF),  including bonfires and rubbish fires, is a helpful resource.

Revised April 15, 2014

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