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Press Release

Outdoor Burning Ban Lifted

Release Date: August 6, 2011

Contact Information:
Joheida Fister email icon , Fire Marshal, (843)682-5140


Effective 09:00, Sunday August 7th, 2010, the burning ban imposed by the Fire Chief of the Town of Hilton Head Island will be lifted. The lifting of the ban does not authorize burning on any given day but allows burning to be conducted if weather conditions allow and the resident has a valid burn permit issued by the Town.

Residents are reminded that all burning must be conducted in accordance with local ordinances. Failure to fully comply with the local burn ordinances may result in fines up to $1,092.50 per occurrence.

There are two types of burning that may be allowed within the Town of Hilton Head Island to include Residential Burns and Recreational Fires.

  • Residential Burning is open burning performed with the approval of the fire chief at the site of a one or two family dwelling unit for the purpose of disposing of natural vegetation generated at that location. Lumber, garbage, and other non natural vegetation may not be burned. Residential Burning is only allowed from the 1st Sunday through Saturday and 3rd Sunday through Saturday of each month.
  • Recreational Fires are fires contained within a pit, barrel, or other non-combustible enclosure for the purpose of pleasure, religious, ceremonial, or other similar purposes. Recreational Fires are not restricted to the 1st and 3rd weeks as is Residential Burning. Permits are not required for outdoor fixed and portable barbecues located at public parks and residential properties. Also exempted are approved outdoor fireplaces, food smoking units, and outdoor cooking stoves. Store bought chimenea's and fire pits fall into the approved outdoor fireplace category.

Permits for both Residential Burning and Recreational Fires may be obtained at any town fire station between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. No more than one permit shall be issued at a time to a property address. Any person, who obtains an open burning permit prior to the actual burn day, shall call the fire and rescue division's automated burning permit telephone line at (843) 341-4714 on the day they intend to burn to determine if burning is allowed on that day. Even though it may be a designated burn day, anticipated weather conditions (especially high wind forecasts) might prohibit you from burning. The public is reminded that if the fire is smoking it is not considered to be out and will be considered a violation. 

Residential Burning may occur on the date listed on the permit between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. or sunset, whichever occurs first. All residential burning fires shall be fully extinguished by 6:00 p.m. or sunset, whichever occurs first.Recreational Fires may occur on the date listed on the permit and between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and Midnight.

The following conditions will likely result in citations being issued for violating the Town's burn ordinances:

  • Burning of yard debris at a location without a valid permit for that specific location
  • Burning of yard debris in a pile wider than 3 feet or higher than 2 feet
  • Burning of more than one pile of yard debris at a time
  • Fires that are smoldering after the designated time the fire must be extinguished
  • Burning within 50 feet of any structure unless contained within an approved waste burner and no closer than 15 feet from any structure
  • Failure to have a competent adult on site during the burn
  • Burning on a day in which the Town's burn line (843-341-4714) indicates no burning is allowed
  • Failure to have a means available to control the fire such as a water hose connected to a water source or other means to extinguish the fire
  • Burning of yard debris that contains paper, trash, or other non-natural materials

Anyone who lives in a neighborhood with a POA or COA, will need to verify with their POA/COA if burning is allowed. Fire & Rescue does not monitor individual POA rules and may issue a permit by mistake. Please don't violate your POA rules.

Town of Hilton Head Island Municipal Code Sections

Sec. 9-7-10. - Definitions.
Sec. 9-7-20. - Permit not required.
Sec. 9-7-30. - Permit required.
Sec.9-7-40. - Commercial burning.
Sec. 9-7-50. - Special permit burning.
Sec. 9-7-60. - Violations.