Outdoor Burning

Policy for Outdoor Burning (printable version)

Burn ban lifted

1.   Outdoor burning of brush, limbs and other natural vegetation inside the city limits of
Midlothian shall be in conducted in compliance with requirements of the Texas Commission on
Environmental Quality (TCEQ), the International Fire Code and the Midlothian Fire Department. 
Outdoor burning of brush and natural vegetation shall be conducted only if other practical means of disposal are not available.
2.   If you live inside the city limits of Midlothian, contact the Midlothian Fire Department at
972-775-7660 Monday-Friday from 8:00am-5:00pm prior to outdoor burning.  The location of the
outdoor burning will be logged and information about requirements, safety, unsafe weather
conditions and burn ban status will be provided.   On weekends and holidays, contact N.E.E.D
Dispatch at 972-775-3333 from 8:00am-5:00pm and request to speak to the on-duty Battalion Chief.  There is no fee for outdoor burning.  Outdoor burning violations inside the city limits are subject to a fine of up to $2,000.
3.   Outdoor burning in Emergency Services District #2 (ESD#2), which is the Ellis County area
outside of the city limits of Midlothian, shall be conducted in compliance with the requirements of TCEQ and the Ellis County Fire Marshal’s office (972-825-5555).
4.   The following materials shall not be burned: non-wood construction or demolition materials
(includes buildings, structures and mobile homes for the purpose of demolition), treated lumber,
garbage/trash, electrical insulation, plastics, heavy oils, asphaltic materials, potentially explosive materials, chemical wastes, tires, furniture or items containing natural or synthetic rubber.  These are Violations of Texas Water Code Chapter 7, Section 7.177 “Violations of Clean Air Act” and are subject to a fine of $1,000 to $50,000 and/or confinement of up to 180 days.
5.   Outdoor burning is allowed from one hour after sunrise to one hour before sunset the same day. All open flames shall be fully extinguished one hour before sunset.  Outdoor burning, other than contained and recreational fires in compliance with the requirements listed below, is not allowed at night.
6.   Outdoor burning, including recreational fires, shall not commence nor continue if the wind
speed is ten (10) mph or greater.  Outdoor burning is not allowed on ozone action days, when “HIGH” fire weather threat index (Red Flag Day) is forecasted, or when a burn ban is in effect.  Weather conditions may be viewed online at: https://weather.com
7.   Only trees, brush, grass, leaves, branch trimmings, or other plant growth may be burned, and
only on the property on which the material grew.  Material shall not be transported to the site
from another location.  Brush piles shall not be more than ten (10) feet in diameter or six (6)
feet in height.  Larger brush piles shall be divided into smaller piles prior to burning.
8.   All outdoor burning shall be constantly attended by one or more persons until the fire is
fully extinguished.
9.   Attendants shall have a water supply, fire extinguishers and/or equipment capable of
preventing the spread of fire on site until the fire is extinguished.
10.  The location for outdoor burning shall not be less than 300 feet from any structure, and
provisions shall be made to prevent the fire from spreading to within 300 feet of any structure. 
Exception: Recreational and contained fires in compliance with the requirements listed below.
11.  If any complaints are received regarding the outdoor burning being a nuisance, affecting
sensitive receptors, or creating a traffic hazard, the fire department will respond to the site to
assist the attendant in extinguishing the fire.
12.  Accumulations of brush/trees from land clearing for development shall be hauled away or
chipped.  Trench burning utilizing an approved Air Curtain Incinerator is allowed only with a TCEQ
permit.  The Fire Marshal’s Office shall be contacted for a site evaluation prior to trench burning.
13.  Recreational fires (campfires, bonfires) for pleasure, ceremonies, cooking or warmth shall be
contained in incinerators, fire rings, outdoor fire pits, outdoor fireplaces or portable outdoor fire places with a total fuel area of three (3) feet or less in diameter and are two (2) feet or less in height.  Recreational fires shall not be conducted within 25 feet of structures or combustible materials and shall be attended at all times.  Open flame cooking devices such as charcoal grills, smokers and other similar devices used for cooking shall not be located or used on combustible balconies, decks or within 10 feet of combustible construction.  Recreational fires do not require notification to the fire department.
14.  Sky Lanterns. A person shall not release or cause to be released an unmanned free-floating
device(s) containing an open flame or other heat source, such as but not limited to a sky lantern.

View the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality Outdoor Burning Guidelines.

The authority to conduct outdoor burning under these regulations does not exempt or excuse any
person responsible from the consequences, damages, or injuries resulting from the burning, and does not exempt or excuse anyone from complying with all other applicable laws or ordinances,
regulations, and orders of governmental entities having jurisdiction, even though the burning is otherwise conducted in compliance with these regulations.