Outdoor Burning

The Denton County Emergency Services Office would like to remind residents of Unincorporated Denton County of Outdoor Burning Regulations mandated by Denton County and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ).

TCEQ has generally prohibited outdoor burning with few exceptions. These exceptions can be found in the TCEQ Outdoor Burning Rules which have been designed to protect the environment and promote public health and safety. The Texas Administrative Code (TAC), Title 30, Part 1, Chapter 111.209 (1), (2), (3), (4)(A), (6), (7) provide the laws pertaining to outdoor burning exceptions and can be found at the TCEQ Website.

If your situation fits all requirements for one of the exceptions described in the rule, you may conduct outdoor burning, on a burn day, as long as you comply with all the conditions.

The authority to conduct outdoor burning does not exempt or excuse any person responsible from the consequences, damages, or injuries resulting from outdoor burning. It also does not exempt or excuse anyone from complying with all other applicable laws, ordinances, or regulations in Denton County.

Determination Timing

Denton County decides on a daily basis if conditions are favorable to burn based on TCEQ recommendations or if the local conditions cause extreme fire potentials to be low. The determination is made between 8 am and 9 am daily.

Instructions & Daily Information

Call the Denton County Fire Marshal at 940-349-2840 Monday through Friday from 8 am to 5 pm. Saturday through Sunday a recording will provide information and instructions regarding open burning for the day. If you have a current Open Burning Registration filed with the Fire Marshal Office the Controlled Burn Log website will provide the daily information for open burning. Registration holders may log open burning individually provided it is a day approved for open burning. If an individual does not have internet access they may leave their name, address and phone number and the information will be logged in for that burn day. The location of your burn will be logged in the event someone calls 911 reporting your smoke or flames.


Outdoor burning regulation information can be found on the Texas Administration Code website.

  1. Acceptable items to Burn
  2. Unacceptable Items to Burn

Acceptable Items to Burn

  • Brush
  • Timber
  • Untreated lumber
  • Yard trimmings

In areas where domestic waste pick-up is not provided and waste is burned, the burn must take place in an approved container. Acceptable domestic waste is:

  • Kitchen garbage
  • Untreated lumber
  • Cardboard boxes
  • Clothing

Outdoor Burning Purposes

Outdoor burning is allowed when used solely for recreational or ceremonial purposes, in the noncommercial preparation of food, or exclusively as a means to provide warmth in cold weather. In other words, campfires, and cooking fires are allowed. Fires built under this exception may not contain domestic waste, electrical insulation, treated lumber, plastics, construction, or demolition materials not made of wood, heavy oils, asphaltic materials, potentially explosive materials, chemical wastes, or items containing natural or synthetic rubber.

For questions about outdoor burning contact the Denton County Emergency Services Office at 940-349-2840.