Support Local Journalism

Thank you for all of your comments, ideas, photos and support!

Many in the summertime and early fall love to have bonfires. However, in Maryland their are laws on the books about open air fires. The Charles County Department of Health posted the below link on their Facebook page Monday, June 17, 2019:

So we looked into this a little further to see what the code said for each of the SoMd Counties.

Sec. 26.11.07.03. Control Officer May Authorize Certain Open Fires

A. In Allegany, Caroline, Dorchester, Garrett, Kent, Queen Anne’s, Somerset, St. Mary’s, Talbot, Washington, Wicomico, and Worcester counties:

(1) Subject to review by the Department, the control officer, upon receipt of an application made on forms provided by the Department or local fire control agency, may issue or approve a permit in writing allowing an open fire, provided all of the following conditions are met:

(a) The control officer is satisfied that there is no practical alternate method to dispose of the material to be burned or to conduct the desired activities;

(b) A hazardous condition or air pollution or nuisance will not be created;

(c) Fire control laws or regulations of other governmental agencies will not be violated;

(d) Materials which produce dense smoke when burned, including, but not limited to, tires and roofing material, will not be burned;

(e) The material to be burned shall have originated on the premises on which it is to be burned;

(2) The control officer may impose other conditions to minimize creation of smoke, to prevent nuisances and air pollution, and to protect the health, safety, comfort, and property of any persons.


C. Prohibition on Open Burning.

(1) In Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Calvert, Carroll, Cecil, Charles, Frederick, Harford, Howard, Montgomery, and Prince George’s counties and Baltimore City, open burning is prohibited during the period from June 1 through August 31 of each year, beginning June 1, 1995.

(2) Exceptions. The provisions of §C(1) of this regulation do not apply to:

(a) Cooking of food on other than commercial premises or cooking of food which is subject to COMAR 26.11.18.06;

(b) Open fires for recreational purposes such as campfires;

(c) Fires authorized under Regulation .04 of this chapter.

Basically what it amounts to is check with you local fire department if you have any question on whether your open air burn is allowed.

David M. Higgins II, Publisher/Editor

David M. Higgins was born in Baltimore and grew up in Southern Maryland. He has had a passion for journalism since high school. After spending many years in the Hospitality Industry he began working in...