Outside Burning

Please note the following Operational Burn Permit notice:
Georgetown Fire Department requires an operational permit inside the city limits and within the ESD#8 for outdoor burning. We have moved to an online permitting process. The applicant must meet the all of the guidelines in the state and local Outdoor Burning Regulations listed below, and an on-site inspection may be required. 

Online burn permit application process:  Click on the orange button below to apply.
If you do not have access to a computer, a computer kiosk is located in the foyer of the Fire Department
at 3500 D B Wood Road for this purpose.
The burn permit application is a three-step process.
Step 1: Apply for the burn permit online. An inspector will review your application within 24-48 hours.
Step 2: You will receive an email approving or denying your application.
If approved, the email will contain a link for you to submit your credit card payment.
Step 3: Once payment is approved, you will automatically receive a second email with your permit number.
This email will serve as your permit and must be retained until the expiration date.
If you do not receive an email within 24-48 hours of your application submission, check the spam folder in your email. Your email inbox may have filtered it out.
Each time prior to burning, you must call 512.930.3510 to report your control burn.
Please note: If your burn permit application is denied, you may contact a fire inspector for more information.

Thank you,
Office of the Fire Marshal

State Outdoor Burning Regulations:
Outdoor Burning Rules, Regulations and Guidance – The Texas Forestry Service  
Outdoor Burning – The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality

Click here to check the current Burn Ban status.

Outdoor Fires

Outdoor fires are allowed within the City of Georgetown, without the need for an annual permit from the Fire Department/Fire Marshal’s Office, contained in the following items:

Charcoal burners and LPG barbecue pits
Site constructed outdoor kitchens
LPG Patio Heaters


A COOKING FIRE is defined as an outdoor fire where fuel (wood, charcoal, natural gas or liquefied petroleum gas) is used in preparation of food prior to consumption. Fuel being burned is contained in a barbeque grill, barbeque pit, fire ring or similar container. The process of burning wood to create coal will be considered as part of the cooking fire process. Cooking fires are allowed with in the city limits of Georgetown and Georgetown’s fire response district without an operational permit from the Fire Department/Fire Marshal’s Office.

Rules for the use of a cooking fire, chimineas and LPG patio heaters:

  1. Charcoal burners and other open-flame cooking devices shall not be operated on combustible balconies on any multi family structure (apartment complex).
  2. Charcoal burners, chimineas, LPG patio heaters and other open-flame cooking devices shall not be operated within 10 feet (3048 mm) of combustible construction; this includes balconies and patios for any multi family.
  3. It is highly recommended for single family residents not operate charcoal burners, chimineas, patio heaters and other open-flame cooking devices within 10 feet of combustible structures.
  4. Burning of natural wood to make colas shall be conducted in a below grade pit or in a containment pit, if above grade.

Operational Burn Permit Requirements (Residential and Commercial):

Application, for such approval, shall only be presented by and permits issued to the owner of the land upon which the fire is to be kindled. The permit shall be kept on site and readily available for view upon request at all times when burning. A permit shall be obtained from the City of Georgetown Fire Marshal’s Office prior to kindling a fire for the following:

  1. Wildlife management practices (good for 30 days from date of issuance)
  2. Bonfire (good per event/burn)
  3. Prescribe fire/burn (good for 30 days from date of issuance)
  4. To dispose of unwanted vegetation/fallen limbs/leaves (good for 365 days)
  5. Recreational fire (good for 365 days)
  6. Prevention or control of disease or pests (time frame of permit may vary)
  7. Trench burn (special circumstances and will be granted on a case by case basis)

A RECREATIONAL FIRE is defined as an outdoor fire burning materials, other than rubbish, where the fuel being burned is not contained in an incinerator, outdoor fireplace, portable outdoor fireplace, barbeque grill, barbeque pit or other commercially designed device used for burning. The container has a total fuel area of 3 feet (914 mm) or less in diameter and 2 feet (610mm) or less in height. A recreation fire is used for pleasure, religious, ceremonial, warmth or similar purposes. Items included for use in recreational fires will include fire ring ( traditional camp fire ring ), fire pit or similar device, which meet the dimensions as stated above. Recreational fires are allowed within the city limits of Georgetown and Georgetown’s fire response district with an annual operational permit.

Fuel, for a recreational fire, will not include and rubbish, construction waste, treated lumber, tires, electrical wiring, lead flashing, carpet, heavy oils, plastics, chemical wastes or other synthetic materials. In layman’s terms, if you would not cook food to consume over the material burning, you may not burn it!

Rules for the use of a recreational fire:

  1. Recreational fires shall not be conducted within 25 feet (7620 mm) of a structure or combustible material.
  2. Conditions which could cause a fire to spread within 25 feet (7620 mm) of a structure shall be eliminated prior to ignition.
  3. Portable outdoor fireplaces shall be used in accordance with the manufacturer’s instruc tions and shall not be operated within 15 feet (3048 mm) of a structure or combustible material.

A PRESCRIBE FIRE is a fire used for the purpose of reducing the impact of a wildland fire, crop management, general land clearing, domestic waster, or prevention & control of diseased pests/animals. The maximum dimension of a burn pile in a prescribe burn shall be 10’ in diameter and 10’ in height. Any burn pile over the maximum dimensions will be considered a bon fire. Prescribe fires/burns are allowed within the city limits of Georgetown and Georgetown’s fire district with the issuance of
an operational permit.

Rules for a prescribe burn:

  1. Fires in commercially sold containers that shall be not less than 15 feet (4572 mm) from a structure when in use.
  2.   The minimum required distance from a structure shall be 25 feet (7620 mm) where the pile size is 3 feet (914 mm) or less in diameter and 2 feet (610 mm) or less in height for fire in non-commercially purchased containers.
  3. The minimum required distance for a prescribe burn, with a maximum burn pile dimensions of 10’ in diameter and 10’ in height, shall be no closer than 100’ from a structure.
  4. A fire extinguisher with a minimum 4-A rating or other approved on-site fire-extinguishing equipment, such as dirt, sand, water barrel, garden hose, dozer, or water truck, shall be available for immediate utilization.
  5. A containment line to bare earth shall be constructed prior to ignition for any piles to be burned outside a container.
  6. 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, landing strip, navigable water, or off-site structure
    containing sensitive receptor(s).
  7. Burning shall not be commenced when surface wind speed is predicted to be less than six miles per hour (mph) (five knots) or greater than 23 mph (20 knots) during the burn period.
  8. No prescribe fire shall be ignited prior to sunrise and all prescribe fires shall be extinguished prior to sunset.
  9. All Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) rules will apply for prescribe burning.

Please call 512-930-3473 (FIRE) if you have any questions.