Many people choose to burn foliage such as grass, leaves, twigs, and branches instead of hauling them away, prompting the Gwinnett County Fire and Emergency Services Department to establish an ordinance (Section 46-54, Article-II) that addresses the regulations and rules for conducting outdoor debris burning. The county encourages people to always follow these rules when burning debris on their property and to use caution.

All information is updated daily by 9:00am. If you are considering an outdoor burn, you can call the Burn Information Line at 678.518.4979 or visit the Gwinnett Fire Community Risk Reduction (CRR) – Fire Marshal’s website at www.Gwinnettfiremarshal.Com. Anyone wishing to burn should check these sources. A Red Flag Warning designates a “no burn” day. This means that a combination of warm temperatures, low relative humidity, and winds are creating a potential for rapid fire growth. The decision to allow burning is based on information from the National Weather Service and the Georgia Forestry Commission. There are specific days during the outdoor burning period that are designated as “no burn” days. This is primarily due to unpredictable weather and atmospheric conditions. Outdoor burning is prohibited in metro Atlanta from May to September. However, property owners are traditionally allowed to burn small amounts of yard debris from October 1 to April 30.

Based on the demographics of the county, it should be considered that outdoor smoke from burning can be an inconvenience or a nuisance to a greater number of people. Outdoor burns should always be conducted with safety in mind. These types of fires can often result in significant damage to privacy fences, exterior siding, and even cause complete loss of control and visibility on roadways, temporarily closing portions of them. Improperly conducted outdoor burns can quickly threaten nearby structures and spread out of control.

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Because most people really want to do the right thing, the first approach firefighters should take when responding to a complaint about a burn is an educational one. Captain Tommy Rutledge, spokesman for Gwinnett Fire and Emergency Services, said that many people may not be aware of the rules for burning outdoors or the fact that every day is not a burn day. Rutledge also mentioned that if a burn is not being conducted in accordance with the established fire ordinance, an actual citation or a notice of non-compliance may be issued.

Gwinnett Fire and Emergency Services offers the following information about the fire ordinance and the rules and regulations for outdoor/open burning activities:.

Regulations for outdoor combustion:

  • A “no combustion” day will be assigned if the day has not been subjected to this regulation. On Sundays or after sunset, combustion is PROHIBITED. Combustion should only take place during daylight hours, from Monday to Saturday.
  • The combustion of organic fallen vegetation, such as twigs, leaves, and small branches, is allowed. However, the incineration of rubbish or any other substances is strictly forbidden.
  • Burning should be done in small heaps, with a maximum size of three feet by three feet.
  • The bonfire heap must be at least 50 feet away from any building.
  • Nearby, firefighters also recommend having a portable fire extinguisher. The burn pile should be equipped with items such as a garden hose, a water source, and constant supervision.
  • The bonfire should be fully extinguished before sunset. Setting fire after nightfall is prohibited.
  • Limitations on burning in outdoor areas:

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  • Open-air combustion is NOT permitted after sunset or on Sundays.
  • Outdoor burning should never be conducted on a windy day, as the steady winds can rapidly spread fires. It is not permitted to burn outdoors if the winds exceed 15 miles per hour.
  • Burning is not allowed within 24 hours after a period of rain, as it causes smoke to come closer to the ground. Burning is only permitted on clear days with no or minimal cloud cover. Outdoor burning is prohibited during foggy or rainy conditions.
  • Household garbage should not be burned. Only natural or fallen yard vegetation, such as branches, foliage, and small branches, is permitted.
  • If the burning is deemed offensive to others or presents a health hazard to individuals in the vicinity, the Gwinnett County Department of Fire and Emergency Services or a representative from the CRR-Fire Marshal’s Office will prohibit any burning.
  • To find additional information on burning debris outdoors or burning out, please go to the website of Gwinnett Fire Marshal’s Community Fire Risk at com.Gwinnettfiremarshal.Www or call 678.518.4979.

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