Open Burning Rules

Open burning is generally prohibited within the city of Dayton, with just a few exceptions, or unless a permit has been issued. In the case of a permit requirement, both the Dayton Fire Department and the Regional Air Pollution Control Agency (RAPCA) may need to approve the fire.

Cooking & Recreational Fires

Cooking and recreational fires are allowed without a permit or notification to the fire department. These fires are used for the preparation of food or recreation. These fires are restricted to cooking appliances or a three-foot by three-foot (3x3) fire pit for a limited duration, typically not more than three hours. These fires should be kept in containers and with flames less than two feet high. BBQ grills and very small fires in fully enclosed or approved containers with a chimney may be placed within a reasonable distance to a structure (never closer than 15 feet), provided that it remains on a noncombustible surface and does not pose a fire risk. Grills are not permitted on apartment decks, patios or balconies.


Bonfires have flames higher than two feet and require a Dayton Fire Department permit and advance notice to RAPCA. Specific restrictions/conditions will be noted on the City permit and RAPCA letter.

Warming Fires

Warming fires are used during cold months for outdoor workers. A Dayton Fire Department permit and RAPCA approval letter is required to have a warming fire; the permit will specify periods (may allow for a warming fire to be operational for several months) and other restrictions.

Safe Burning

All open burning shall be shall be in a safe location away from structures and public ways and constantly attended with a means of extinguishment nearby (fire extinguisher, garden hose, dirt, sand or water barrel). Only clean dry wood may be burned. Violations are a minor misdemeanor, punishable by a $100 fine; Dayton Fire Code Section F-403.1, as adopted by City of Dayton Revised Code of General Ordinances 92.01.

If at any point in time the open burning becomes objectionable or creates a nuisance or hazardous condition due to smoke or odor emissions, atmospheric conditions or local environmental conditions, the fire official or RAPCA may order the extinguishment of any open burning for any reason.

At no point may waste debris, plastic, treated wood or yard cuttings be burned.


To apply for an Open Burning Permit, or if you have questions, please call the Dayton Fire Department at 937-333-4520.