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Outdoor burning: What to know before you light the match

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Most wildfires start with someone being careless. Make sure you know when you can burn outdoors and how to do so safely.

a pile of brush burning outside
  1. When can you burn outdoors?

    Check with your city and county about burn bans and local rules for outdoor fires. The Texas A&M Forest Service’s map lists county burn bans.

    Statewide, Texas limits outdoor burning to:

    • Campfires, bonfires, fire pits, and cooking fires.
    • Household trash fires on your home property and only if you don’t have trash pickup.
  2. Keep your fire from spreading

    • If your city and county allow outdoor burns, put trash, grass, leaves, and branch trimmings in a burn barrel or container. Top it with a screen or metal grid.
    • Don’t burn on dry, windy days.
    • Stay by your fire until it’s out.
    • Keep water, shovel, and a rake handy in case the fire starts to spread. 
  3. Don’t burn these items

    • Aerosol cans or anything that could explode.
    • Electrical insulation.
    • Building / construction materials including treated lumber.
    • Plastics and asphalt-based materials.

    If you see a dangerous fire, call local law enforcement. You may also call the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality’s Environmental Complaint Hotline at 888-777-3186.

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Last updated: 6/22/2022