Open Burning


Recreational Fires, Bonfires, & Portable Outdoor Fireplaces

This publication outlines the Ohio Fire Code fire safety requirements and prohibitions related to the proper burning of materials within the City of Mason. This publication refers to recreational fires, bonfires, controlled burning, and portable outdoor fireplaces, and portable heating appliances.

Questions regarding the content of this publication should be directed to the Fire Prevention Bureau at 513.229.8540 during regular office hours, Monday thru Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.


A person shall not kindle or maintain or authorize to be kindled or maintained any open burning unless conducted and approved in accordance with this publication, Section 307 of the Ohio Fire Code, and City of Mason Codified Ordinance 1505.03 and 1505.05.

Prohibited Open Burning
Any open burning that is offensive or objectionable because of smoke emissions, odor emissions, or when atmospheric conditions or local circumstances make such fires hazardous shall be prohibited.

Extinguishment Authority
The fire code official is authorized to order the extinguishment by the permit holder, another person responsible or the fire department of open burning that creates or adds a hazardous or objectionable situation.

Open burning; bonfires, recreational fires, and use of portable outdoor fireplaces shall be constantly attended until the fire is extinguished. A minimum of one fire extinguisher with a minimum of 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.

Any fire exceeding 3 feet in diameter and 2 feet in height is considered to be a bonfire and requires a City of Mason Bonfire permit as well as EPA notification. If you desire to have a bonfire, please refer to the “Bonfire” section of this publication for further details.

Any fire that does not exceed 3 feet in diameter and 2 feet in height either being a recreational fire, campfire, or outdoor portable fireplace, whether for cooking food for human consumption, pleasure, religious, ceremonial, warmth, recreational or similar purposes is allowed without City of Mason permit or EPA notification providing the following conditions are met:

Fuel Source

  • They are fueled with clean seasoned firewood, natural gas or equivalent, or any clean burning fuel with emissions that are equivalent to or lower than those created from the burning of seasoned firewood.
  • They are not used for waste disposal purposes.


  • Recreational fires shall not be conducted within 25 feet of a structure or combustible material. Conditions which could cause a fire to spread within 25 feet of a structure shall be eliminated prior to ignition.
  • Portable outdoor fireplaces shall be used in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions and shall not be operated within 15 feet of a structure or combustible material in multi-family dwellings of 3 or more.

Any fire exceeding 3 feet in diameter and 2 feet in height is considered to be a bonfire. Bonfires may be permitted only under the following conditions and are subject to EPA notification and approval.

Permit required. A person shall not kindle or maintain any bonfire or authorize any fire to be kindled or maintained on any premises without having obtained a permit or other proper authorization from the Fire Official. All permits shall be requested by and issued to the owner of the land upon which the bonfire is to be kindled.

Location restricted. The location is approved by the Fire Official and is not less than 50 feet from any structure and adequate provision is made to prevent fire from spreading to within 50 feet of any structure; or

Bonfire Material. Fuel for bonfires shall consist of seasoned dry wood only and shall be ignited with a small quantity of paper only. Bonfires shall not contain any rubbish, garbage, trash, any material made of or coated with rubber, plastic, leather or petroleum based materials and shall not contain any flammable or combustible liquids. The allowable quantity of wood to be burnt shall be determined by the Fire Official and shall be based upon the fire safety requirements of the situation and the desirable duration of burn.

Size and Duration. They have a total fuel area no greater than five feet in diameter by five feet in height and burn no longer than three hours.