There will be a $10 fee imposed for Open Burning / Bon Fire Permits.

If you intend to burn brush on your property, you must apply for an Open Burning Permit.  Please visit the
East Lyme Fire Marshal’s Office located at 171 Boston Post Rd, East Lyme.

Open Burning

Open Burning is limited to the burning of brush only, on residential property upon which the permittee resides
and is subject to certain requirements such as:

  • When National or State ambient air quality standards may be exceeded
  • Where a hazardous health condition might be created
  • When the Air Quality Index (AQI) is forecast to be 75 or higher anywhere in the state
  • When the Open Burn Permit Index is high, very high or extreme; and where woodland or grass land is within one hundred feet of the proposed burn
  • When there is an advisory from the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) Commissioner of any air pollution episode
  • Burning of any material other than brush.
  • Open burning is NOT allowed to clear land prior to construction activities.
  • Open burning CANNOT be used as a means to dispose of construction debris, household trash, or leaves.
  • On property other than residential property upon which the permittee resides, the setback distance from any structure and adjoin properties is a minimum of 25 feet.
  • Burning must cease if directed to do so by:
    • Any member of the Town Fire Marshal’s Office
    • An Officer of the Fire Department
    • An Official of the DEEP
    • An Officer of the Police Department

Once you receive your Open Burning Permit, this permit must be available on site during the burn. Burning is allowed only between the hours of 10:00AM and 5:00PM on a sunny or partly sunny day with the wind speed between five and fifteen miles per hour.

Once you receive your Bon Fire Permit, this permit must be available on site during the burn. Burning is allowed only between the hours designated on your permit and only when conditions set forth are favorable.

Prior to burning the permittee is required to contact the East Lyme Dispatch Center at 860-739-3419 to receive authorization that burning is allowed for the day and again once burning is complete and the fire has been extinguished.

Once burning has been authorized, you must be available at the contact number you provided when your permit was issued.

The permittee is required to contact the East Lyme Dispatch Center upon completion of burning.

Recreational Burning on Private or Commercial Property

A permit is not required in the Town of East Lyme for this purpose provided that the size of such fire pit / outdoor fireplace does not exceed 3 feet in diameter, and the following safety protocols are being followed:

  1. Be sure the ground is level when placing a portable fire pit and that it is placed atop a natural surface such as concrete, stone, gravel, brick or slate or on a fire-resistant composite. Putting the fire pit on a wood deck can be dangerous.
  2. Use special caution near overhanging trees, which can easily ignite from flying wood-fire sparks.
  3. The area around the outdoor fire must be free of combustibles.
  4. The fire is contained in a chiminea or other commercial fire burning device rated for this purpose.
  5. Never operate your fire pit beneath a building overhang or in a partially enclosed space.
  6. In fire-prone areas, surround your fire pit with non-combustible materials, like crushed stone, brick, or sand.
  7. Never use lighter fluid or gasoline to start a fire in a fire pit.
  8. Avoid lighting a fire in windy conditions.
  9. If your fire pit has a screen, use it whenever you’re burning.
  10. Have a garden hose handy to deal with wayward sparks from wood fires. Attach a hose-end multi-pattern nozzle to the hose, setting it to “spray.” A shower-type spray douses a flare up, while a direct stream of water can spread sparks.
  11. Burn only clean, non-processed wood. No wood pallets, construction debris, painted wood, stained/treated wood, or garbage can be burned in a campfire/bonfire, fire pit, chiminea or other similar device. Non-processed wood is considered to be any untreated, natural wood up to and including rough cut lumber. Processed wood is considered to be any wood that has been milled and/or planed and includes recycled wood, glued wood, treated wood, pallets, crates, and/or wood scraps from these types of materials.
  12. Young children should be carefully supervised at all times when they are in the area of the fire pit.
  13. Never leave the fire unattended.

Open Flame Cooking








Home Grill Fires

National Fire Protection Association Grilling Safety Tips

Do you know where to place your grill?         How to safely start & turn off your grill? 

In 2013-2017, grills, hibachis or barbecues were involved in an average of 10,200 home fires per year, including an average of 4,500 structure fires and 5,700 outside or unclassified fires. These fires cause serious injuries and/or death in addition to millions of dollars in property damage every year.

Charcoal or other solid-fueled grills were involved in 1,100 home fires per year, including 600 structure fires and 500 outside fires annually.

Source: NFPA’s Research, Data & Analytics Division
* Hearth, Patio and Barbecue Association (HPBA)
**Consumer Product Safety Commission’s National Electronic Injury Surveillance System, queried in April 2016

Important Tips to Remember:

  1. While the process of checking your gas grill for a leak is nearly universal, each grill varies somewhat; closely read any manuals or warnings provided by the manufacturer before operating your gas grill.
  2. Always keep your grill’s hoses as far away from heat as possible. Avoid letting hot grease drip onto the hoses to prevent potentially dangerous leaks. Use a heat shield to protect hoses that are prone to heat or grease.
  3. Never use your gas grill in an enclosed space. Stick to grilling outside in well-ventilated areas, and ensure your grill is never unattended during operation.

Fire Code Ban on Grills

2015-R-0206 September 14, 2015

The National Fire Protection Association’s fire code restricts the use of grills or other heating devices near dwelling units other than one-and two-family dwellings.

Under the national fire code, “for other than one- and two-family dwellings, no hibachi, grill, or other similar devices used for cooking, heating, or any other purpose shall be used or kindled on any balcony, under any overhanging portion, or within 10 feet of any structure.” The code also prohibits these devices from being stored on a balcony at such dwellings.