Open Burning

Open Burning includes any outdoor burning as indicated in the rules document below. Controlled Burns are considered open burning and must be conducted in accordance with the rules below and State of Texas law. Controlled Burn permits are issued at no charge by calling (512) 288-5534, extension 300 and leaving your information. We will get back with you to schedule an inspection.


We are also testing a new web form system. Please click HERE to submit your request online!


The following information is provided for all persons within Travis County Emergency Services District No. 3.

In recent years, outdoor burning has come under great scrutiny because of damage to environment and harmful effects on humans that are sensitive to smoke and other pollutants from fire. Persons wishing to conduct an outdoor burn should be aware of State and Local Regulations that apply to outdoor burning.  State Requirements are addressed in a document entitled “Outdoor Burning in Texas” published by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. This information can be accessed online at and searching under available publications as well as in Texas State Statute (particularly pages 9 and 10) HERE.
Before a controlled burn permit is issued, a fire department official may inspect the premises to verify safety information regarding the issuance of the permit. In instances where laws or regulations are enforceable by any other governmental entity having jurisdiction, joint approval shall be obtained.
The authority to conduct outdoor burning under the regulations listed below does not exempt or excuse any person responsible from the consequences, damages, or injuries resulting from the burning and does not exempt or excuse anyone from complying with all other applicable laws or ordinances, regulations, and orders of governmental entities having jurisdiction, even though the burning is otherwise conducted in compliance with the regulations listed below.

Burn permits are valid for 30 days. When the permit expires, applicants shall go through the controlled burn permit request process again.

After receiving a controlled burn permit, go online and submit your information indicating you have a permit and are burning that day or call 512-288-5534 extension 300 and leave a message prior to lighting the controlled burn. Refer to our website or the voice recording at extension 300 to verify that the weather conditions are satisfactory to conduct the burn.

Make sure a phone is available to call 9-1-1 if the fire gets out of control.
You must maintain control of your fire at all times.

The location for open burning shall not be less than 50 feet from any structure, and provisions shall be made to prevent the fire from spreading to within 50 feet of any structure.
1) Fires in approved containers that are not less than 15 feet from a structure.
2) The minimum required distance from a structure shall be 25 feet where the pile size is 3 feet or less in diameter and 2 feet or less in height.

Burning shall be commenced and conducted only when wind direction and other meteorological conditions are such that smoke and other pollutants will not cause adverse effects to any public road or off-site structure containing sensitive receptor(s) as listed below:
1) Winds more than 6 MPH but less than 23 MPH during the burn period.
2) Burning shall not be conducted during periods of actual or predicted persistent low-level atmospheric temperature inversions.
3) The initiation of burning shall commence no earlier than one (1) hour after sunrise.
4) Burning shall be completed on the same day by one (1) hour before sunset. In cases where residual fires and / or smoldering objects continue to emit smoke after this time, such areas shall be extinguished if the smoke from these areas has the potential to create a nuisance or traffic hazard condition. In no case shall the extent of the burn area be allowed to increase after this time.
5) Burning of illegal items is strictly prohibited. Rubbish containing paper products, electrical insulation, treated lumber, plastics, construction or demolition materials not made of wood, heavy oils, asphaltic materials, potentially explosive materials, chemical wastes, or items containing natural or synthetic rubber are not allowed.
6) If, at any time, the burning causes or may tend to cause smoke to blow onto or across a road or highway, it is the responsibility of the person initiating the burn to post flag-persons on affected roads.
7) Controlled burns shall be constantly attended by a person knowledgeable in the use of fire extinguishing equipment and familiar with the permit limitations which restrict open burning until the fire is extinguished. An attendant shall supervise the burning material until the fire has been extinguished. A garden hose connected to a water supply or other approved fire extinguishing equipment shall be readily available for use at controlled burn site(s).
8) Burning must be conducted downwind of, or at least 300 feet from, any structure containing sensitive receptors located on adjacent properties unless prior written approval is obtained from whoever occupies the adjacent property.
9) Recreational fires shall not be conducted within 25 feet of a structure or combustible material unless the fire is contained in a barbecue pit or other pit with a spark arrestor. Conditions which could cause a fire to spread within 25 feet of a structure shall be eliminated prior to ignition.