Recreational Fire Laws

The City of Canton has passed several pieces of legislation that regulate the open burning of materials within City limits. All violations of these ordinances are considered misdemeanors of the fourth degree (Ordinance 207-2001).

Cooking Fires - Exemption

"Recreational fire" is defined for the purpose of this chapter as an outdoor open fire utilized to cook food for human consumption.

Exemption: A small fire contained in a non-commercial clean-burning enclosed cooking apparatus, commonly known as a grill, which is fueled by charcoal, propane or natural gas or similar material is exempt from the application requirement prescribed in Section 1513.02.

Open Burning - Prohibited

No person or property owner shall cause or allow open burning except as provided in O.R.C. Section 1513.02.

If a recreational fire creates or adds to a hazardous or objectionable situation, the Fire Department shall order the property owner or person having control to extinguish the fire. If the property owner or person having control refuses, the Fire Department will extinguish the fire.

If the fire is not a recreational fire which has been approved by the Fire Prevention Bureau or any other form of open burning for which a permit has been issued by the Air Pollution Control Division of the Canton Health Department, it shall be extinguished and reported to the Air Pollution Control Division of the Canton Health Department.

Recreational Fires


Application for approval of recreational fires shall be verbally submitted to the Fire Prevention Bureau at least forty-eight hours before the fire is set. The notification shall be given Monday through Friday from 8 am to 4 pm, with exceptions to federal holidays when the office is closed.

  • The purpose of the fire
  • The nature and quantities of the material to be burned
  • The date, time and duration of the fire;
  • The location
  • The fire-extinguishing equipment to be provided


The location of the fire shall not be less than twenty-five feet from any structure.


The material shall be of the minimum size for the intended purpose, consist only of seasoned dry firewood and be ignited with a small quantity of paper. The fuel shall be chosen to minimize the generation and emission of air contaminants.

Forbidden Materials

Materials that you are not permitted to burn are:
leaves, branches, sticks, twigs, brush, grass, treated lumber such as 2×4s or pallets, yard debris of any kind, construction material of any kind, etc.

For more information on materials that you cannot burn, read the information on these pages: and

Size & Duration

A recreational fire shall not be more than 2 feet by 2 feet by 2 feet in dimension and shall not be permitted to burn longer than three (3) hours unless approved by the Fire Prevention Bureau. All recreational fires shall be extinguished by 11 pm. In the months of March, April, May, October, and November, the fires cannot begin before 6:00 PM.


A recreational fire shall be constantly attended until the fire is completely extinguished. Approved extinguishing equipment shall be available for immediate utilization at all times.