Daniel R. Munsey, Fire Chief/Fire Warden
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The San Bernardino County Fire Department, Office of the Fire Marshal places certain restrictions, and in some cases requires a permit, on any open and outdoor burning activity.

Per Section 26 of the San Bernardino County Fire Protection District Fire Code, there are generally six outdoor fire types:

The open burning of waste vegetation produced by the growing or harvesting of crops in agricultural operation.

The open burning of waste vegetation, tree and yard trimmings or similar for disposal on residential privately-owned property. For the purposes of this Code, Residential Burning shall also include the burning of similar items.

An outdoor open fire having a total fuel area greater than 3 feet in width, length or diameter or 2 feet in height, and is used for pleasure, religious, ceremonial, cooking, warmth or other similar purposes.

An outdoor open fire burning clean materials other than rubbish where the fuel being burned is not contained in an incinerator, outdoor fireplace, portable outdoor fireplace, barbecue grill or barbecue pit, and has a total fuel area equal to or less than 3 feet in width, length or diameter and 2 feet in height for pleasure, religious, ceremonial, cooking, warmth or other, similar purposes. Recreational fires also include any campfire or fire ring.

A portable, outdoor, solid-, liquid-, or gas fuel burning fireplace constructed of steel, concrete, clay or other non-combustible materials and specifically designed for the containment of fire. A portable outdoor fireplace may have an open design or may have a small hearth opening with a short chimney or opening in the top.

BARBECUE GRILL. (Also known as a barbeque or BBQ). A portable or fixed device, constructed of non-combustible material, for the primary purpose of cooking food over a liquefied petroleum-, natural gas-, wood- or charcoal-fueled fire.
BARBECUE PIT. A trench or depression in the ground in which wood or other clean solid fuel is burned to produce a bed of hot coals for the sole purpose of cooking.

General Fire Requirements

  • All fires must be located and conducted in a manner which does not present a hazard. The San Bernardino County Fire Department will require any fire be extinguished if a hazardous condition exists (such as flames are too high, the wind is blowing embers, extremely low humidity, etc.), or if the fire produces excessive, offensive or objectionable smoke. BE REASONABLE AND USE GOOD JUDGMENT!
  • Only clean, dried wood, tree trimmings or vegetation are allowed to be burned.  It is illegal to burn garbage or hazardous waste at any time.
  • All fires must be attended by a responsible adult, 18 years or older, at all times until extinguished. A method of extinguishment, such as a fire extinguisher, water supply (hose, water barrel, water truck, etc.) or dirt and shovel, shall be immediately available while conducting any fires.
  • Only fires that burn natural gas or propane are allowed a Wildfire Risk Area, unless other fuels are specifically permitted under certain circumstances. Please contact the OFM for more information.
  • ALL outdoor fires (except for those fueled by propane or natural gas) are prohibited when winds exceed 10 mph, during a Fire Weather Watch, Red Flag Warnings or when otherwise prohibited by local, State or Federal or State agencies having jurisdiction.
  • Hot ashes shall be placed only in a covered metal or other non-combustible container after being cooled with water.

Wildfire Risk Areas

Only Agricultural burning, Residential burning of tumbleweeds ONLY, recreational fires burning natural gas or propane, and portable outdoor fireplaces with approved spark arrestors, are allowed. Campfires are allowed within a designated campsite with approval from CAL FIRE (in SRA) or the Office of the Fire Marshal for all other areas.

Permits

  • A permit is required for any Agricultural Burning (waste crops), Residential Burning (wood, tree trimmings, tumbleweeds, waste vegetation, etc.) Bonfires, or for large wood burning Barbecue grills or Barbecue pits. To obtain a permit for a bonfire, please obtain an online Special Event permit  from EZOP. To obtain a permit for Agricultural or Residential open burning, access the online EZOP portal.
  • Open fires within State Responsibility Areas (SRA) or federally controlled lands including San Bernardino National Forest or Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Land, require a permit from CAL FIRE and are subject to other restrictions. Please visit https://burnpermit.fire.ca.gov/ for information on permits and requirements.

Open Burning Status

You MUST obtain an open fire permit to conduct burning of residential or agricultural vegetation waste within the San Bernardino County Fire Protection District.

Air District-Specific Requirements and Restrictions

Recreational Fires

A recreational fire is any outdoor fire with a fuel area no larger than 3’ wide by 2’ high, is not contained in a outdoor fireplace, BBQ grill or BBQ pit, and is used for pleasure, religious, ceremony, cooking, warmth, etc.
This is the typical campfire or fire ring.

Permits Required? Yes. EXCEPTION: When confined to a permanent fire ring and it is fueled solely by LPG/Propane or natural gas – no permit required.

Fees: None.

Bonfires

A bonfire is any outdoor fire (including recreational fires, BBQ Pit or Portable Outdoor Fireplaces) with a fuel area larger than 3’ wide by 2’ high.

Permits Required? Yes.

Fees: $209.00 per fire – Community Safety must be contacted at 909-386-8400 or 760-995-8190 for a permit prior to kindling the fire.

Portable Outdoor Fireplaces

A Portable Outdoor Fireplace is a non-fixed fireplace (including Chimneas) of any non-combustible material with a fuel area no larger than 3’ wide by 2’ high.

Permits Required? Only when used in a Wildfire Risk Area.

EXCEPTION: When fueled solely by LPG/Propane or natural gas – no permit required.

Fees: None.

BBQ Pits

A BBQ Pit is an outdoor fire in the ground with a fuel area no larger than 3’ wide by 2’ high specifically used for cooking over coals.

Permits Required? Yes.

Fees: None.

BBQ’s

Permits Required? None. For residential-style BBQ’s. Commercial restaurant-style BBQ’s may require a permit

Fees: None.