Open Burning


Open Burning Regulations


Agricultural Open Burning: Open burning conducted for recognized agricultural range or wildlife management practices, for prevention or control of disease or pests, or for maintenance of water conveyance waterways and ditches. 
Bonfire: An outdoor fire conducted for ceremonial purposes in which the fuel area exceeds dimensions of a recreational fire and are no greater than eight-feet in diameter and four-feet in height. 
Open Burning:  Any outdoor fire larger than a recreational fire or not contained within a portable outdoor fireplace.  This includes but is not limited to campfires, bonfires, warming fires, the lighting of any fused explosives, permissible fireworks, the use of model rockets, and the burning of fence lines or rows, grass lands, fields, farm lands, ditches, range lands, and wild lands.  Permits from the fire district are required for open fires.  
Portable Outdoor Fireplace:  A commercially purchased portable, outdoor, solid-fuel-burning fireplace that may be constructed of steel, concrete, clay, or other non-combustible material.  A portable outdoor fireplace may be open in design, or may be equipped with a small hearth opening and a short chimney or chimney opening at the top.  These devices must be operated according to the manufactures instructions with all covers, screens, and grates in place.  Portable outdoor fireplaces shall not be operated within 15 feet of a structure or combustible material.
Prohibited Items and Materials: The following items and materials are prohibited from approval for open burning: wood and lumber treated for preservation; plastics; garbage; construction waste; rubber; petroleum-based products; yard vegetation including: weeds, tree limbs, leaves.   
Recreational Fire:  An outdoor fire burning material other than rubbish or debris where the fuel being burned is not contained in a portable outdoor fireplace, or barbeque grill and has a total fuel area of 3 feet or less in diameter and 2 feet or less in height for pleasure, religious, ceremonial, cooking, warmth or similar purposes.  This includes fires in 55 gallon drums; fixed, permanent outdoor fireplaces; and barbeque pit fires.


Prior approval and an open burning permit is required for all outdoor fires EXCEPT  those that conducted within a portable outdoor fireplace and those activities that meet the definition of a recreational fire. Open burning permits will not be issued or considered valid when a fire restriction or fire ban is in place.  
Application for an open burning permit may be submitted at the Fire District Headquarters building located at 7903 Allison Way Monday – Friday between the hours of 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM and 1:00 PM - 4:30 PM. Approval of open burn applications will take a minimum of seven (7) business days and will require an inspection of the site prior to approval. Burn permits will only be issued to the owner of the property on which the open burning will occur. 


Fires that create or add to a hazardous situation or that require a permit that has not been obtained shall be extinguished immediately. 


A permit is not required to use a portable outdoor fireplace or have a recreational fire in which the total fuel area is three-feet or less in diameter and two-feet or less in height. The use of portable outdoor fireplaces and recreational fires do require the following precautions to be taken:
Portable outdoor fireplaces
  • All  instructions, suggestions and safety precautions provided by the device manufacturer are followed.
  • Portable outdoor fireplaces shall not be used within 15 feet of combustible materials or structures.
    • Exception: Where used at one or two-family dwelling units.
  • The device is used as intended by the manufacturer.
Recreational Fires
  • Recreational fires shall not be conducted within 25 feet of combustible materials or structures.
  • Prohibited items and materials shall not be burned. 


Agricultural open burning, bonfires and open burning that is not conducted in a portable patio fireplace or that meets the definition of a recreational fire REQUIRES a permit and prior approval. Compliance with all of the following requirements as well as requirements identified for the specific occurrence is required.  
  • Open burning permits will only be issued for use between March 1st and October 31st and must be renewed each calendar year.
  • Permit holder must notify Arvada Fire Dispatch at (303) 424-3012 prior to burning and after burning has been completed.
  • Permit holder shall not burn if current wind speeds are greater than 10 miles per hour or winds are expected to exceed 10 miles per hour during the burn period.
  • Permit holder shall not burn on designated Red Flag Days. 
  • Permit holder shall ensure that the burn activity is a minimum of fifty (50) feet from any structure or combustible materials.
  • Permit holder shall not burn rubber, tires, plastic, wire insulation, rubbish or trash, paper, cardboard, furniture, construction debris, fencing, treated wood, grass, leaves, or yard waste.
  • Open burning may only occur in daylight hours (dawn to dusk).
  • Open burning shall be constantly attended by an adult until fully extinguished.
  • This permit shall be on-site and in the possession of the person attending the fire during burning activities. 
  • An approved means of extinguishment, such as: a fire extinguisher with a minimum rating of 4A; a shovel with available dirt or sand; or a garden hose and water source must be readily available.
  • Permit holder shall comply with additional requirements that are identified either in attached documents or listed below. 
  • Fires that create or add to a hazardous situation shall be extinguished immediately.

For questions or further information please contact the Community Risk Reduction Division at (303)424-3012.