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Fire Rescue Logo Yard Waste Burning Regulations


Dates have been scheduled to allow the burning of yard waste due to Hurricane Irma.  The dates will be Saturday 9/16/2017, Saturday 9/23/2017 and Saturday 9/30/2017.

Please be advised the rules of the Town’s burning ordinance still apply:

  • You must have a burn permit
  • Burning of yard waste is for one and two family dwellings for debris originating on-site.
  • No burning of yard waste on commercial properties is permitted.
  • No burning of construction debris or household goods/trash. Citations will be issued.
  • Your permit must be registered each day by calling 843-682-5125.
  • The burn line is updated each day. Burning will only be allowed if the weather permits.
  • Burning of yard waste is only permitted from Sunrise to Sunset.
  • Debris piled in public right-of-way cannot be burned.
  • Responsible persons must be on-site at all times with an extinguishing method.
  • The pile size of 3 foot in diameter and 2 foot in height must be maintained, and the 25 foot distance away from structures must be maintained.
  • Fires must be extinguished at sunset.
  • All rules will be enforced.
  • The fire department will be inspecting the burns.
  • Upon request, the fire department will inspect an area to help the property owner comply with the rules prior to conducting burning.

The Town & County will not be providing curbside pickup of Hurricane Irma storm debris.
Beaufort County is opening two Debris Management Sites to accept Class 1 and 2 debris, as well as white goods debris:

  • Pinckney Point - 651 Pinckney Colony Road in Bluffton
  • Ihly Farms - 66 Ihly Farm Road in Beaufort

Burning of Yard Waste Requires a Permit

  • A burn permit must be obtained from any Hilton Head Island Fire Station or Fire Rescue Headquarters.
  • The permit will remain valid for as long as the person issued the permit resides at the address.
  • The permit holder must register their burn on the day they wish to burn. Call (843) 682-5125 the day you are going to burn and before you light the fire to determine if projected weather conditions will allow burning.
  • Yard waste burning may take place only on approved burn days when weather permits.
  • Yard waste burning may only take place between the official hours of sunrise and sunset. (Remember, a fire after sunset that is smoking is not out and will be a violation.)
  • Only one permit is allowed per address.
  • All burning is subject to inspection.
  • This permit may be removed at any time by the Fire Chief.
  • The Fire Chief withholds the right to extinguish any yard waste fire when it is deemed appropriate for public safety.
  • This permit is issued for this residential property only and allows burning of yard waste that was generated only on this property. All other burning of yard waste is considered commercial burning which is prohibited.
  • The person whose name appears on this permit is legally responsible for all burning taking place at this address.

Yard Waste Fires in a Container or Constructed Enclosure

  • Containers include a pit, barrel (in good condition), or other non-combustible enclosure intended for recreational fires or cooking.
  • Must be located at least 15 feet from any structure or stored combustible materials.
  • Examples of containers are metal fire rings or burn barrels, manufactured units for open flame type burning (such as a chimineas and fire pits).
  • Fires in a container or constructed enclose shall not be more than 3 feet in diameter and 2 feet in height.

Yard Waste Fires Not within a Container or Constructed Enclosure

Yard waste fires not contained in a pit, barrel, or other non-combustible enclosure shall meet the following requirements.

When the fire is 3 feet in diameter and 2 feet in height the yard waste fire shall not be conducted within 25 feet of any structure or stored combustible material.

When the fire is greater than 3 feet in diameter and 2 feet in height the yard waste fire shall not be conducted within 50 feet of any structure or stored combustible material.

Operational Requirements for Any Type of Yard Waste Fire

  1. The person performing the burn must have a valid permit in his/her possession at the burn site.
  2. A responsible adult who is capable of controlling the fire, taking emergency actions, and calling for assistance is required at the site at all times.
  3. An operable garden hose connected to a water supply shall be provided. If water is not available, approved on-site fire extinguishing equipment shall be on hand to control and extinguish the fire.
  4. Yard waste burning is restricted to natural vegetation generated only on this property and includes grass, tree limbs, branches, leaves, pine straw, pine cones and similar items.
  5. The burning of any trash or waste materials, in any quantity, is strictly prohibited. It is unlawful to burn any combustible and noncombustible waste materials such as paper, rags, cartons, tin cans, metals, mineral matter, glass crockery, food, garbage, and discarded furniture and tires.
  6. The person conducting the burn must comply with the following size and distance restrictions:
    • Burning in a container or other non-combustible enclosure, such as a barrel or pit, must be at least 15 feet from any residential, commercial, or out building to include any combustible fence, deck, or motor vehicle.
    • Fires on the ground must be NO larger than 3’ in diameter and 2’ in height and shall be at least 25 feet from any residential, commercial, or out building to include any combustible fence, deck, or motor vehicle.
    • Fires on the ground larger than 3’ in diameter and 2’ in height must be at least 50 feet from any residential, commercial, or out building to include any combustible fence, deck, or motor vehicle.
  7. No accelerants may be utilized to start a fire with the exception of charcoal lighter fluid. Such prohibited accelerants include gasoline, diesel fuel, or any other type of flammable liquid.

What can I do with my yard debris between burn dates?

Yard Trimmings (leaves, limbs and branches up to 6 inches in diameter and 4 feet in length) are accepted at all Beaufort County Convenience Centers. Yard waste is limited to one pick-up truck or one trailer (measuring 5 feet by 8 feet). Limit two loads per household per day. Larger amounts must be taken to the Oakwood Landfill, Barnwell Resources or Green Space.

Beaufort County Information on Recycling and Composting external link icon

South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) Information on Smart Gardening and Composting external link icon

Yard Waste Burning Regulations Handout pdf icon

Recreational Fire Regulations

Yard Waste Burning Calendar Yard Waste Burning Calendar Icon

Learn Before You Burn!