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Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

Know The Law... Before Burning Outdoors in Florida: Florida's Outdoor Burning and Forest Fire Laws

Program Resources

Did You Know...

  • Escaped debris burning is one of the leading causes of wildfires in Florida?
  • The Florida Forest Service administers Florida’s outdoor burning and forest fire laws?
  • Some types of burning require an authorization from the Florida Forest Service while others do not?
  • Burning yard waste does not require an authorization but you must follow the rules for your area?

Burning Authorizations

Are Required for...

Agricultural, silvicultural, land clearing, pile and acreage burning all require a burning authorization from the Florida Forest Service.

Are Not Required...

to burn yard waste as long as you meet the required setbacks and there are no local, city or county ordinances in place that prohibit burning.

Check with your local city and county officials to find out if there are any restrictions in your area.

What Is Yard Waste?

  • Yard waste is any vegetative debris such as grass clippings, brush, leaves, tree limbs, palm fronds, etc., that are a result of yard maintenance.

You may burn yard waste as long as...

  • You meet the required setbacks and no local city or county ordinances prohibit burning.
  • The yard waste was generated on your property and it will fit in an 8-foot diameter pile or non-combustible container.
  • The fire is ignited after 8 a.m. Central Time or 9 a.m. Eastern Time and is extinguished one hour before sunset.

Large Pile Burns

Piles greater than 8 feet in diameter will require...

  •  an authorization from the Florida Forest Service
  •  suppression equipment on hand and
  •  additional setback requirements.

Required Setbacks for Yard Waste Burning
Picture: Illustration of setbacks for yard waste

Outdoor Burning Tips

  • Clear an area down to bare soil around your pile to prevent the fire from spreading.
  • Cover a non-combustible container with wire mesh to keep sparks from flying out and starting new fires.
  • Check with your local city and county officials to find out if there are any restrictions in your area.
  • 25 feet from forests
  • 50 feet from paved public roads
  • 25 feet from your house
  • 150 feet from other occupied buildings

NOTE: It is illegal to burn household garbage including paper products, treated lumber, plastics, rubber materials, tires, pesticide, paint and aerosol containers.

Contact Us

If you have questions on outdoor burning, please contact your Florida Forest Service local Field Office for more information.