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Open Burning FAQs

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Frequently Asked Questions

Is open burning allowed in Hillsborough County?

All open burning is prohibited within Hillsborough County unless:
  • An authorization has been obtained, or
  • The burn is exempt from the open burning regulation.


What type of open burn authorization can be obtained?

Burn authorizations may be obtained for initial commercial land clearing, mining operations, or burning associated with bona fide agriculture operations.


Does the EPC issue open burn authorizations?

Yes, EPC issues open burning authorizations for initial commercial land clearing and mineral operations.


Who issues open burn authorizations for agriculture operations?

The Florida Forest Service (FFS) issues open burning permits for activities associated with agriculture operations.


Is residential open burning allowed in Hillsborough County?

Residential open burning of yard waste, tree cutting debris, household garbage, and trash is prohibited in Hillsborough County. (See recreational burning information below.)


Are there other materials prohibited from open burning in Hillsborough County?

Yes, open burning of biological waste, hazardous waste, asbestos containing materials, mercury-containing devices, pharmaceuticals, tires, rubber material, residua oil, used oil, asphalt, roofing material, tar, treated wood, and plastics, are prohibited. (Agricultural operations have some exceptions for plastics and other materials.)


Are there other types of residential open burning permissible?

Recreational open burning is permissible if it’s in compliance with the EPC Act and Open Burning Rule. Other authorities having jurisdiction in Hillsborough County (e.g. municipalities) may require written authorization for some types of recreational burning.


What is recreational open burning?

The open burning of vegetative debris and untreated wood in contained fires or campfires, for noncommercial preparation of food, recreational purposes, ceremonial occasions, burning in outdoor fireplace or other outdoor heating or noncommercial cooking device, or an open burn on cold days for warming of outdoor workers.


Do I need an open burn authorization to prepare food in my yard?

The preparation for non-commercial food and open burning for bodily warmth are allowed as long as burning is in a non-flammable container, only natural logs or clean untreated wood can be used, and the burning does not occur under power lines or low hanging tree limbs.


For additional information pertaining to the Open Burning Regulations in Hillsborough County, please contact our office at 813.627.2600 or the Florida Forest Services (FFS) at 863.940.6701.

(PDF version)