There are two (2) types of Open Burns allowable in the Englewood Area Fire Control District without authorization Recreational Fires and Cooking Fires. Broadcast burning, agricultural burning and burning in land-clearing debris for development is allowed by authorization only through the Florida Forest Service.
Recreational and Cooking fires are allowed between the hours of 10:00am - 11:00pm.
A recreational fire is a fire that is burned for pleasure, religious, ceremonial, cooking or similar purposes. Recreational fires must be safely contained, such as in a fire pit or bowl, chimenea, fireplace or other similar device or structure and use approved fuels. The total fuel area must not exceed three (3') feet in diameter by two feet in height.
A cooking fire is an open fire burned for the sole purpose of cooking food for human consumption. A cooking fire must be contained in a grill, camping stove or similar device designed solely for cooking food and use only approved fuels.
- Dry, untreated natural wood or "clean wood" (clean has a low moisture content, minimizes smoke and is favorable for burning).
- Commercially available fire-starter logs or briquettes.
- Liquefied petroleum gas.
- Natural gas.
Yard Waste is vegetative matter resulting from landscaping, yard maintenance and other property or land clean-up activities. It includes materials such as leaves, shrub trimmings, grass clippings, palm fronds, tree cutting debris and brush.
Household Trash is the trash that you throw away in your home such as but not limited to; food waste and their containers, paper, diapers, plastics, glass and metals. Burning household trash is harmful to you and your family, as well as your neighbors and have been shown to increase the risk of many health problems, such as heart disease, asthma, emphysema, headaches and even cancer. Children are especially vulnerable.
Commercial Trash is all trash and waste that is a result of commercial or business use. This is not limited to chemicals, construction waste or materials, bulk food or hazardous waste.
Your fire could be deemed a nuisance or hazardous if sparks, ash, smoke or odor emissions interfere with the reasonable use and enjoyment of property; or create an unreasonable health hazard; things to consider include:
- High winds, wind direction, heavy fog or poor air quality.
- A fire with a fuel area more than three feet wide by two fee high.
- Improper fuel use.
- Proximity to structures, personal property, vegetation, or other combustible materials.
- Amount of smoke, odor and ash.
- Time of day and duration of the fire.
- Possibility of hazards to roads, railroads or airfields.
- Impact on people with respiratory sensitivity or allergies to smoke or odor emissions.
All fires must be continuously supervised by a competent person of at least 18 years of age until the fire extinguished and cold.
- Recreational fires must be located a minimum must be located a minimum of 25 feet away from any structure (i.e. home, fence, shed, etc.) or combustible material.
- Fires in permanently installed structures such as a fireplace designed for outdoor use or warming type containers (i.e. fire bowl, chimenea, etc) must be at least 10 feet away from any structure or combustible material.
- Setback for open burn is at least 50 feet from any public roadway unless authorized by the fire chief or designee.
While conducting an open burn, you must have readily available fire-extinguishing equipment and know how to use it. Equipment may include:
- Water hose of sufficient length to reach the fire
- Water buckets.
- Heavy equipment such as bulldozers or backhoes.
- Any other equipment sufficient to control and extinguish the fire.
Check the Florida Forest Service for open burning in your area, call (941) 213-6970 or visit the Florida Forest Service Website.
The Fire Chief or his designee shall have the authority to prohibit any and all open flames, candles, and open, recreational, and cooking fires or other sources of ignition, or establish special regulations on the use of any form of fire or smoking material where circumstances make such conditions hazardous.