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Last Updated: 2010-01-11

Open Burning - Bonfires

Permit Holder Guideline #31B

PERMIT TITLE: Open Burning - Bonfires

CODE SECTION: (Virginia Statewide Fire Prevention Code) 307.2

FEE: $40.00 (Check payable to the City of Richmond)

SCOPE: Need permit for Bonfire.


REQUIREMENTS: Permit holder agrees to abide by the Virginia Statewide Fire Prevention Code and any special stipulations noted on permit, as well as the following:

  1. The property owner should apply in writing, at least ten days before the event, including the following information:
    • Reason for bonfire, expected audience (number, children vs. adults)
    • The nature and quantities of material to be burned
    • The location of the burning site, and date & times of bonfire
    • Persons in charge, noting safety gear and procedures
  2. The location for any open burning shall not be less than 50 feet (15240 mm) from any structure or combustible materials and provisions shall be made to prevent the fire from spreading to within 50 feet (15240 mm) of any structure.
  3. Any open burning shall be constantly attended until the fire is extinguished. Approved on-site fire extinguishing equipment, such as garden hoses, shall be available for immediate utilization.
  4. A bonfire shall not be more than 5 feet (1524mm) by 5 feet (1524mm) by 5 feet (1524mm) in dimension and shall not burn longer than 3 hours.
  5. Fuel for a bonfire shall consist only of seasoned dry firewood and shall be ignited with a small quantity of paper. The fire shall not be utilized for waste disposal purposes, and the fuel shall be chosen to minimize the generation of air contaminates.
  6. Open burning may need to cease if offensive or objectionable smoke or odor emissions, if atmospheric conditions or local circumstances pose unacceptable hazard.

Contact Information:

Fire Department
City of Richmond
201 E. Franklin St.
Richmond, VA
23219 USA
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Phone: (804)646-2500

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