Outdoor burning, Fire pits, and recreational fires

A permit from the Winston-Salem Fire Department is NOT required for recreational fires, portable fireplaces or cooking fires as long as you comply with following:

  1. Guidelines
  2. Charcoal and Gas Cooking Devices
  3. Hazards and Violations

Winston-Salem City Recreational Burning Ordinance

Ordinance #2021-26 2021 Ordinance Book, Page 136

No person shall kindle or maintain any bonfire or rubbish fire or authorize any such fire to be kindled or maintained on any private property, or on or in any public ground, without a permit or other proper authorization. Allowable burning include fires used solely for outdoor cooking and other recreational purposes when such fires are:

  • Confined to a container (such as a fire pit or chiminea) which is subject to approval by the Fire Chief and/or their designee
  • Located at least 25 feet away from any structure
  • Lit with dry wood or kindling and not any accelerant, garbage, garden clippings or the like
  • Maintained with only seasoned wood and not any garbage, garden clippings, debris or the like
  • Limited in size to no more than 3 feet in height and 2 feet in diameter.

During construction or demolition of buildings or structures

No waste materials or rubbish shall be disposed of by burning on premises or in the immediate vicinity without having obtained a permit or other proper authorization.


No person shall kindle or maintain any such fire which emits smoke or fumes in such quantity as to create a hazard or nuisance and no person shall kindle or maintain any fire when outdoor burning is prohibited due to weather or other hazardous conditions.