Burning Information

Ordinance


Outdoor burning in York County must be conducted in accordance with the County's Nuisance Ordinance, view details by viewing the document, Ordinance 56.68 (PDF). This ordinance applies only to the unincorporated areas of the county. "Burning" is defined as: Combustion of any item or substance not associated with the internal heating of a home, building or structure, fireplaces, grills or internal combustion engines, or burning which constitutes a nuisance or fire hazard to an adjoining property owner.

Key points of this ordinance are as follows:

  • Outdoor burning may not be within 500 feet of a residence, occupied building, occupied housing unit, occupied modular or mobile home, or commercial or industrial building other than that of the owner or occupant of such premises.
  • Outdoor burning may not be conducted on Ozone Action days.
  • Outdoor burning may not be conducted at new commercial or non-residential lots.
  • Outdoor burning may not be conducted at new residential developments containing more than five lots or exceeding more than 5-acres.
  • Outdoor burning may only be started between the hours of 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. and no combustible material may be added to the fire between 3 p.m. and 9 a.m. of the next day.
  • The following material may not be burned:
    • Asphalt and asphaltic materials
    • Cardboard
    • Construction debris
    • Demolition products
    • Household chemicals
    • Household garbage
    • Metals
    • Paint
    • Paper
    • Petroleum products
    • Plastics
    • Tires and tire waste
    • Treated wood

Exempt


Outdoor burning exempt from this ordinance:
  • Open burning of leaves, tree branches or yard trimmings originating on the premises of private residences and burned on those premises. Outdoor burning may not be conducted on Ozone Action days).
  • Open burning in connection with the preparation of food for the immediate consumption.
  • Campfires and fires used solely for recreational purposes, ceremonial occasions or human warmth when conducted in a safe manner.
  • Prescribed burning of forest lands for specific management practices.
  • Fire purposely set for agricultural control of diseases, weeds, pests and for other specific agricultural purposes.
  • Open burning of trees, brush, grass and other vegetable matter for game management purposes.

For Complaints


Complaints about illegal outdoor burning should be made to the York County Sheriff's Office 803-628-3059 or to York County Zoning Code Enforcement at 803-909-7200. There is no permit required before conducting outdoor burning in York County. However, South Carolina law requires you to notify the South Carolina Forestry Commission prior to burning in the unincorporated areas of the county.
 

Yard Debris Burning


For yard debris burning only, you may contact the South Carolina Forestry Commission (SCFC) automated notification system at 800-517-9644. View the SCFC website for more details. State law requires that you clear a firebreak around the burning site and have the right equipment available to keep the fire under control. You must also stay with the fire until it is completely safe.

Wildlife, Agriculture or Forestry Burning


For wildlife, agricultural or forestry burning, in addition to notifying the Forestry Commission, you must also follow the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) Smoke Management Guidelines. Notification to the Forestry Commission may be made to 800-777-3473.
 

Land Clearing or Piled Debris Burning


Land clearing or piled debris burning must comply with the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, Regulation 61-62.2 (PDF). Notifications to the Forestry Commission must also be made to the automated notification system at 800-517-9644.