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Open Burning


2021 IFC 105.5.34 Open Burning:  An operational permit is required for the kindling or maintaining of an open fire or a fire on any public street, alley, road, or other public or private ground.

North Dakota State Fire Marshal Office:

Open burning, Burn Ban Restrictions and Fire Danger Maps:

  • A permit is required for open burning. Contact the ND Department of Environmental Quality at (701) 328-5150, and the local fire authority (Southern Valley Fire & Rescue). Before conducting any open burning, check conditions at ND Department of Emergency Services Burn Ban Restrictions and Fire Danger Maps (https://ndresponse.gov/burn-ban-restrictions-fire-danger-maps).

OPEN BURNING:  The burning of materials wherein products of combustion are emitted directly into the ambient air without passing through a stack of chimney from an enclosed chamber. Open burning does not include road flares, smudge pots similar devices associated with safety or occupational uses typically considered open flames, recreational fires or use of portable outdoor fireplaces. For the purpose of this definition, a chamber shall be regarded as enclosed when during the time combustion occurs, only apertures, ducts, stacks, flues or chimneys necessary to provide combustion air and permit the escape of exhaust gas are open.



307.1  General.

A person shall not kindle or maintain or authorize to be kindled or maintained any open burning unless conducted and approved in accordance with Sections 307.1.1 through 307.5.

307.1.1  Prohibited open burning.

Open burning shall be prohibited when atmospheric conditions or local circumstances make such fires hazardous.

Exception: Prescribed burning for the purpose of reducing the impact of wildland fire when authorized by the fire code official.

307.2  Permit required.

A permit shall be obtained from the fire code official in accordance with Section 105.6 prior to kindling a fire for recognized silvicultural or range or wildlife management practices, prevention or control of disease or pests, or a bonfire. Application for such approval shall only be presented by and permits issued to the owner of the land on which the fire is to be kindled.

307.2.1  Authorization.

Where required by state or local law or regulations, open burning shall only be permitted with prior approval from the state or local air and water quality management authority, provided that all conditions specified in the authorization are followed.

307.3  Extinguishment authority.

Where open burning creates or adds to a hazardous situation, or a required permit for open burning has not been obtained, the fire code official is authorized to order the extinguishment of the open burning operation.

307.4  Location.

The location for open burning shall be not less than 50 feet (15 240 mm) from any structure, and provisions shall be made to prevent the fire from spreading to within 50 feet (15 240 mm) of any structure.


  1. 1.Fires in approved containers that are not less than 15 feet (4572 mm) from a structure.
  2. 2.The minimum required distance from a structure shall be 25 feet (7620 mm) where the pile size is 3 feet (914 mm) or less in diameter and 2 feet (610 mm) or less in height.

307.4.1  Bonfires.

A bonfire shall not be conducted within 50 feet (15 240 mm) of a structure or combustible material unless the fire is contained in a barbecue pit. Conditions that could cause a fire to spread within 50 feet (15 240 mm) of a structure shall be eliminated prior to ignition.

307.4.2  Recreational fires.

Recreational fires shall not be conducted within 25 feet (7620 mm) of a structure or combustible material. Conditions that could cause a fire to spread within 25 feet (7620 mm) of a structure shall be eliminated prior to ignition.

307.4.3  Portable outdoor fireplaces.

Portable outdoor fireplaces shall be used in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions and shall not be operated within 15 feet (3048 mm) of a structure or combustible material.

Exception: Portable outdoor fireplaces used at one- and two-family dwellings.

307.5  Attendance.

Open burning, bonfires, recreational fires and use of portable outdoor fireplaces shall be constantly attended until the fire is extinguished. Not fewer than one portable fire extinguisher complying with Section 906 with a minimum 4-A rating or other approved on-site fire-extinguishing equipment, such as dirt, sand, water barrel, garden hose or water truck, shall be available for immediate utilization.