Burning Ordinance

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Acceptable burning/ fires

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Carmel Fire Dept. Prevention Division

Residential Open Burning Guidelines

The following guidelines are provided to assist you in complying with Carmel’s residential open burning law (City Code Sections 6-145 and 6-146). They are for informational purposes only, and do not modify existing law. If you have any questions, please contact the Carmel Fire Marshall’s office.

Residential open burning

Residential open burning is prohibited in apartment complexes and mobile home parks. Residential open burning (“campfires”) are permitted in residences that contain four (4) or fewer units, subject to the following conditions:

  • Campfires cannot exceed 5’ x 5’ x 5’ in cubic size without prior authorization from the Fire Marshall.
  • Campfires are to be used for recreational or cooking purposes only and are not to be used as disposal fires.
  • Campfires must be contained within a noncombustible container sufficiently vented to induce combustion, with enclosed sides, a bottom, and a mesh covering with openings no larger than one quarter of a square inch in size.
  • Campfires are to use untreated wood only.
  • Campfires must be monitored at all times until fully extinguished.
  • Campfires must occur between sunrise and sunset.
  • Campfires are prohibited when the wind speed is less than 5 m.p.h. or greater than 15 m.p.h.
  • Campfires are prohibited on public streets, alleys, and multi-use
  • Campfires are prohibited within 100 feet of a power line or a structure owned by another party.
  • Any campfire that creates dense and lingering smoke or fumes, that becomes a fire or health hazard, or that creates a public nuisance must be extinguished. Please note that a “public nuisance” can be created by a campfire that results in a complaint being made to the City by any downwind property owner or occupant.

Any person who violates Carmel’s open burning law is subject to a fine of up to $500 for each violation. Please follow the law and be considerate of your neighbors when enjoying your campfire.