Open fires for recreation or cooking are allowed on private property when open burning is permitted within Martin County. Open burning status is determined by the Fire Danger Index Report published daily by the Florida Fire Service.
Martin County Fire Rescue only authorizes open burning when the fire danger index indicates a low or moderate hazard. Open fires must be compliant in accordance with adopted Florida Fire Prevention Code Chapter 10, and Martin County Fire Prevention and Protection Ordinance Chapter 79.
What is considered an open fire?
Permit Not Required:
Recreational Fires. Recreational fires, such as campfires, bonfires and backyard fires in fire pits, are allowed under county code without a county permit. Recreational fires must be no larger than 3 feet in diameter, are limited to 1 cubic yard or less of burnable material, and must be located no less than 25 feet from any structure or combustible material, unless contained in an approved manner such as in a chiminea or outdoor fireplace.
Cooking Fires. Cooking fires are allowed under county code without a county permit for the purpose of cooking food on residential property for groups, gatherings and other events. Examples of cooking fires include: cooking hot dogs, hamburgers, whole pigs, deer or similar animals.
Residential yard waste. A county permit is required for a residential yard waste burn of less than 8 feet in diameter, and can be obtained at your local fire station. Any residential yard waste burn larger than 8 feet in diameter will require a burn authorization from the Florida Fire Service.
Open Fire Safety:
- Make sure the fire is located in a well ventilated area away from combustible material.
- Keep children and pets a safe distance from the fireplace or fire pit.
- Utilize a screen and spark arrestor to minimize flaming embers.
- Do not use lighter fluid or accelerants to start or enhance a fire.
- Use clean dry hard wood or manufactured logs as fuel for the fire.
- Pressure treated, painted or stained woods, plastic, rubber and construction materials are not permitted to be burned. The smoke emitted may contain poisonous, toxic fumes and produce excessive black smoke that is harmful to life and the environment.
- Ensure the fire is completely extinguished before leaving the area.
Safely enjoy your recreational fire on days that open burning is permitted, and be considerate that your fire is not a hazard to a neighbor’s property or health. Fires that are creating a nuisance or hazard are subject to immediate discontinuance as ordered by Martin County Fire Rescue or the authority having jurisdiction.
Fires that get out of control and create a major hazard are subject to reimbursement charges for all costs incurred by Martin County for the extinguishment of the fire in accordance with Martin County Fire Prevention and Protection Ordinance Chapter 79.
It is unlawful for any individual or group to build a warming fire, bonfire, or campfire and leave it unattended while visible flame, smoke, or emissions exist. Anyone who violates this section is committing a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083 of the Florida State Statutes.
Beach Fire Permits:
The Beach Fire Program is managed by the Martin County Parks and Recreation Department. Beach fire permits are ONLY available during non-turtle nesting season (November through February). Permits are issued in person through the Parks and Recreation Department, Monday through Friday, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., at:
Martin County Parks and Recreation Department
2401 SE Monterey Road
Stuart, Florida 34996
Beach fires are allowed daily from 5 to 11 p.m. with a permit (in designated fire pits only) at Jensen Beach and Stuart Beach. Program specifics can be viewed on the Beach Fire Permits webpage.