- Read our Outdoor Burning Quick Reference Guide
- Read our Complete Outdoor Burning Guide
- Leer la Guía Completa de Referencia Rapida para Quemar al Aire Libre
See the Outdoor Burning Ordinance:
* Navigation Instructions:
- Click on Part I in the left column.
- In the left column, scroll down to select Chapter 54.
- In the left column, under Chapter 54, select Article VII.
Burning Banned May 1 - September 30
The Georgia Department of Natural Resources has issued a ban on open burning May 1 – September 30 of each year. Fifty-four counties in Georgia (including Cobb County) are affected. Cobb County Fire and Emergency Services are responsible for the enforcement of this state-issued burning ban in unincorporated Cobb County, and the cities of Acworth, Kennesaw, and Powder Springs.
From May 1 – September 30, you may not burn leaves, tree limbs, or other yard waste, forest land, or use air curtain destructors for land clearing.
Burning Allowed October 1 - April 30
Open burning is allowed October 1 - April 30 of each year. During this time, you may burn limited yard debris such as leaves, pine straw, and small limbs from growth on your property. The following restrictions for burning also apply:
- Burning is allowed between the hours of 10 a.m. and one hour before sunset (no smoldering or hot coals remaining). Yard waste fires must be completely extinguished one hour prior to sunset.
- No burning is allowed on windy days (10 mph or higher) or on days when the atmospheric conditions (cloudy, overcast, or raining) would cause the smoke to remain low to the ground. Cobb Fire uses wind speeds from McCollum Field, Dobbins AFB, and Brown Field to determine wind speed.
- Burning must be attended by an adult who must be watching the fire at all times. Never leave a fire unattended.
- A water hose long enough to reach the fire must be on hand and ready for use.
- Fires may not be started with petroleum-based products.
- Only clean wood may be burned. Clean wood means natural wood which has not been painted, varnished, or coated with a similar material; has not been pressure treated with preservatives; and does not contain resins or glues as in plywood or other composite wood products.
- Yard waste (small) fire must be at least 50 feet from all structures, including fences of combustible material, limbs no larger than 6” diameter, pile no greater than 6’ x 6’, at least 25’ from roads with speed limits greater than 35 mph.
- Yard waste fires larger than 6’x6’ require a Yard Waste (large) permit.
- Burning in a barrel is prohibited.
- Burning of garbage is prohibited. Garbage is any waste material that includes but is not limited to plastic products, Styrofoam, fiberglass, recycling wire (burned to access metal), tires, clothing, furniture, mattresses, boxes, papers, stumps, root balls, and kudzu vines.
- Any yard debris that is moved from one property to another cannot be burned. For information regarding alternative methods to dispose of yard waste, contact the Georgia Environmental Protection Division at (404) 362-2537.
- Even if all guidelines for burning are followed, you may be required to extinguish the fire if it adversely interferes with another’s enjoyment of life, use of property, or if someone with a health problem is affected.
NOTE: During the burning period, fire officials may prohibit burning at times when atmospheric conditions or local circumstances make burning hazardous.
Types of Fires Allowed All Year
Certain types of fires are allowed all year, even during the burn ban, as listed below.
- Recreational fire means an outdoor fire in which only logs or clean wood are being burned and has a total fuel area of 3 feet or less in diameter and 2 feet or less in height for pleasure, religious ceremonial, cooking, warmth or similar purposes, and which is not used to dispose of garbage or yard waste.
- Recreational fires are allowed between the hours of 10 a.m. and 10:30 p.m.
- No recreational burning is allowed on windy days (10 mph or higher) or on days when the atmospheric conditions (cloudy, overcast, or raining) would cause the smoke to remain low to the ground.
- Recreational fires must be attended by an adult who must be watching the fire at all times. Never leave the fire unattended.
- A water hose or fire extinguisher must be on hand that can reach the fire, and can be ready to use if needed.
- Recreational fires must be at least 25 feet from all structures.
- Recreational fires shall not be started with petroleum-based products.
- An outdoor fire larger than a recreational fire in which only logs or clean wood are being burned for ceremonial purposes.
- A bonfire permit is required to be issued by the Cobb County Fire Marshal’s Office. Please call (770) 528-8310 to request an inspection and obtain a bonfire permit at least 5-7 business days prior to the desired date.
- Bonfires must be 50’ from structures, 100’ from property lines, and completely out by 10:30 p.m.
Types of Fires Exempt from the Burn Ordinance
- Fires burned for the purpose of cooking food for immediate human consumption, e.g., barbecue grill or pit.
- Fires in an outdoor fireplace, chimenea, fire bowl, or other similar device burning logs or clean wood only.
If you have questions regarding outdoor burning, please contact us at [email protected] during office hours or (770) 499-3911 after hours.
If you have a complaint or problem regarding burning in your area, please call 911 when the burning is occurring.
Permits are required for:
Please allow 5-7 business days to obtain a permit for a Bonfire or Yard Waste (large) fire.
- Yard waste (large) fires—pile larger than 6'x6' and not more than 12'x12', must be 100' from property line, 300 feet from any structure, limbs not more than 12" diameter. Call (770) 528-8310 for permit information.
- Bonfires — see below for more information.
- Burning for Land Clearing (using an air curtain destructor) — call (770) 528–8315 for permit information.
Penalties and Fines
Violations of the outdoor burning ordinance may result in fines.
Fines range from $100.00 up to $1,000.00 and/or 6 months in jail, depending on the violation(s).
There are several locations in Cobb County designated as medical burn areas. These are areas populated by residents with medical conditions that make them susceptible to health risks from smoke inhalation. Please see this map for the current burn ban locations.