Open Burn Permits

Who needs a burn permit?

Several types of open fires require a permit. Worcester County regulations define an “open fire” as a fire where any material is burned in the open or in a receptacle other than a furnace, incinerator, or other equipment connected to a stack or chimney. While some open fires like leaf burns and campfires do not require official permits, they may not cause a public nuisance and leaf burns must be located at least 200 feet from the nearest inhabited structure. To find Maryland state regulations about what kind of fires require permits, see


Permit Application 

Permit applications are available through the County Environmental Programs Department website or by visiting the Environmental Programs Department office. A permit fee is charged. The permit, if granted will be valid for 30 days. The Department of Environmental Programs also asks for a site plan along with the permit application in order to evaluate the conditions of the burn.

  • No practical alternative for disposal is available.
  • No hazardous condition, air pollution or nuisance is created.
  • Regulations of other agencies are met.
  • Materials burned do not create dense smoke.
  • Materials burned originate on premises.
  • A minimum distance of 1,200 feet from any habitable structure is maintained. A minimum 1,200 feet distance from habitable structures and roads is required in the Development District.
  • Permitted burn hours are observed. Homeowner permit hours are from 6am- 10pm.


Before you burn - IMPORTANT

Any burn, whether it needs a permit or not, needs to be reported to the Department of Environmental Programs before it is started.  Call 410-632-1220 so that 911 operators do not dispatch fire crews.


Additional Information

Burn Permit
Fire Training Exercise Form