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Outdoor Burning Restrictions

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Before starting a fire of any kind, residents must call the Emergency Communications Center at (540) 955-1234.

From Feb. 15 to April 30 every year, Virginia law restricts outdoor burning to between 4:00 PM and midnight.

Burning garbage, refuse, trash, rubbish, and other forms of liquid or solid waste is prohibited at all times.

Burning wood, brush, grass, trimmings, and/or leaves is permitted in all areas of Clarke County, provided:

  • Fire must be a minimum of 50 feet from any structure and 300 feet from any occupied dwelling.
  • Anyone who intends to burn brush must have written permission from those who occupy dwellings 300 feet away.
  • Anyone who intends to burn brush must constantly attend the fire at all times.
  • Burning must be done in such a way as to minimize any nuisance to neighbors.

Open burning for land and site clearing operations for commercial, industrial, or residential development is permitted only after obtaining a permit from Clarke County Fire & EMS and Emergency Management. Call (540) 955-5113. Open burning for these purposes is permitted provided conditions required by Clarke County Fire, EMS & Emergency Management and Clarke County Building Department are met.

Recreational bonfires and campfires are permitted if the fuel consists only of seasonal dry hardwood, ignited with a small quantity of paper. Fires can be no more than 5-by-5 feet in circumference and may not burn more than 3 hours at any one time. At no time shall bonfires or campfires be used for waste disposal purposes.

Helpful Tips:

  • Keep a garden hose handy in case of sudden, uncontrolled fire spread.
  • Burn dry leaves. Wet leaves produce unnecessary smoke.
  • Burn small piles no more than 3-feet wide and 2-feet tall. Large piles do not always burn completely.
  • Never use gas, lighter fluid, or any other fuel to kindle or rekindle a fire. If leaves need fuel to burn, they are too wet, creating potential for injury.
  • Keep small children away from fires and out of the smoke.