Open Burning Requirements

Burning Leaves

Regulations & Rules

Open burning is allowed in the City of Paragould, however, each person shall be required to familiarize themselves with all legal requirements set forth by the Arkansas Fire Prevention Code, Volume 1, 2012 Edition, Section 307, which has been adopted by ordinance, by the city of Paragould.  Failure to follow all requirements set forth will result in a fine issued by a fire official, law enforcement officer or code enforcement officer. Any individual or entity wanting to burn natural vegetation for commercial purposes, i.e. clearing land for a subdivision or other purpose shall be required to contact the Paragould Fire Department at (870) 239-7525.  A fire official will inspect the site for compliance and provide detailed instructions to control the fire.  

The following are scenarios to determine if you need to contact the fire department before open burning.  

Scenario 1: A company has been hired to clear land in which there are large piles of trees to be burned. In this scenario the contractor would be required to call for a fire official to inspect the site and make recommendations.  

Scenario 2: An individual homeowner has picked up small twigs and raked leaves in to small piles in their yard. In this scenario the individual is not required to call the fire department to obtain permission to burn, however all provisions below shall be adhered to.

Scenario 3: A family wants to have a small bonfire at night for a family gathering. In this scenario the individual is not required to call the fire department to obtain permission to burn, however all provisions below shall be adhered to.

For any questions or concerns, please call the Paragould Fire Department at 870-239-7523 and ask to speak to the Fire Marshal or Deputy Fire Marshal.

  • Burning shall not occur on days in which the wind exceeds 13 mph according to either KAIT 8 Weather or The Weather Channel; or when a burn ban is in effect.
  • A rake, water hose, and/or a portable fire extinguisher with a minimum of a 4A rating or other fire extinguishing equipment must be in working order and maintained within a reasonable distance from the fire for immediate use.
  • Only approved materials (wood-based products that are not treated and yard debris) will be allowed to be burned. Furniture items, garbage, metals, plastic, rubber, tires, shingles, treated lumber or petroleum-based products of any kind shall not be burned under any circumstances.
  • Fires may only occur between the hours of 7 am and sunset. All outdoor fires must be extinguished by sunset unless otherwise provided for by permit or contained in an approved manufactured fire pit.
  • Any fire that causes heavy smoke, odor or hazardous conditions or one that generates any complaints from the public may be required to be extinguished immediately.
  • Burning shall not take place under electrical, telephone or television cable lines.
  • The fire must be attended at all times until it is fully and completely extinguished.
  • Any person maintaining a fire, whether authorized by permit or not, shall extinguish the fire immediately if directed to do so by either an officer with the Paragould Fire Department, Paragould Police Department or a Paragould Code Enforcement Officer.
  • Corrective actions. If the owner or occupant shall neglect or refuse to immediately extinguish the fire, the fire department, police department or code enforcement officer, or other city employee acting under the direction of the fire department, police department or code enforcement office is authorized to do whatever is necessary to correct the condition and to charge the cost thereof to the owner or occupant for the cost of so doing.
  • Penalty provisions. The fire department, police department or code enforcement officer may issue a citation to a person in violation of this section which shall be a misdemeanor and/or revoke burning privileges. Fines for violation of this section shall be assessed in accordance with section 1-10 of the Paragould Code.

Arkansas Fire Prevention Code, Volume 1, 2012 Edition, Section 307

307.1  General. A person shall not kindle or maintain or authorize to be kindled or maintained any open burning unless conducted and approved in accordance with Sections 307.1.1 through 307.5

307.1.1  Prohibited open burning. Open burning shall be prohibited when atmospheric conditions or local circumstances make such fires hazardous.

Exception: Prescribed burning for the purpose of reducing reducing the impact of wildland fire when authorized by the fire code official.

307.2  Permit required. A permit shall be obtained from the fire code official in accordance with Section 105.6 prior to kindling a fire for recognized silvicultural or range or wildlife management practices, prevention or control of disease or pests. 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.

307.2.1  Authorization. Where required by state or local law or regulations, open burning shall only be permitted with prior approval from the state or local air and water quality management authority, provided that all conditions specified in the authorization are followed.

307.3  Extinguishment authority. When open burning creates or adds to a hazardous situation, or a required permit for open burning has not been obtained, the fire code official is authorized to order the extinguishment of the open burning operation.

307.4  Location. The location for open burning shall not be less than 50 feet (15 240 mm) from any structure, and provisions shall be made to prevent the fire from spreading to within 50 feet (15 240 mm) of any structure.

Exceptions:

  1. Fires in approved containers that are not less than 15 feet (4572 mm) from a structure.
  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.  

307.4.1  Bonfires. A bonfire shall not be conducted within 50 feet (15 240 mm) of a structure or combustible material unless the fire is contained in a barbeque pit. Conditions which could cause a fire to spread within 50 feet (15 240 mm) of a structure shall be eliminated prior to ignition.

307.4.2  Recreational fires. Recreational fires shall not be conducted within 25 feet (7620 mm) of a structure or combustible material. Conditions which could cause a fire to spread within 25 feet (7620 mm) of a structure shall be eliminated prior to ignition. 

307.4.3  Portable outdoor fireplaces. Portable outdoor fireplaces shall be used in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions and shall not be operated within 15 feet (3048 mm) of a structure or combustible material.

Exception:  Portable outdoor fireplaces used at one-and two-family dwellings.

307.4.4 Construction warming fires. Unless prohibited by local or county ordinance or by local burn ban, warming fires shall be allowed when temperatures are below 32°F (°C). Warming fires must be contained in a noncombustible container with a spark arrestor. Warming fires shall not be located within 25 feet (7620 mm) of any combustible structure or within 10 feet (3048 mm) of a road-way. Only vegetation and nontreated lumber will be allowed to be used for fuel.

307.5  Attendance. Open burning, bonfires, recreational fires and use of portable outdoor fireplaces shall be constantly attended until the fire is extinguished. A minimum of one portable fire extinguisher complying with Section 906 with a minimum 4-A rating or other approved on-site fire extinguishing equipment, such as dirt, sand, water barrel, garden hose or water truck, shall be available for immediate utilization.