Open Burning



Open burning - means any fire or combustion from which air contaminants pass directly into the open air without passing through a flue. The term includes any fire or combustion which occurs in a chiminea, fire pit, outdoor fireplace, or grill.


1. No person shall conduct, or allow to be conducted, the open burning of any material, except where the Town has issued an open burning permit to such person in accordance with this Section or where the open burning is conducted solely for the purpose of preparation of food for human consumption, recreation, light, or ornament, and in a manner which contributes a negligible amount of air contaminants, and which is in accordance with Subparagraphs A through C, below.

A. No material other than clean wood, propane, or natural gas may be burned except as provided for in this subparagraph.

i. Charcoal may be used in an outdoor fireplace or grill for the purpose of cooking.

ii. Commercially available fire logs, paraffin logs, or wood pellets may be used in outdoor fireplaces.

iii. Paper or commercial smokeless fire starters may be used with clean wood to start an allowed fire.

B. Any volume of clean wood being burned shall be no larger than 3’ wide x 3’ long x 2’ high and shall be at least 15 feet from the nearest neighbor’s dwelling or inhabited area, any property line, roadway, sidewalk, or public access way.

C. Open burning using chimineas, firepits, or outdoor fireplaces may only be conducted using materials meeting Subparagraph A, above.

2. Open burning is in no way allowed for the removal or the disposal of trash or accumulation of brush, trees, leaves etc.

3. Any open burning shall be tended by a responsible person at all times.

4. Wood burning activities shall not be conducted on Air Quality Action Days, with the exception of conducting such burning for the commercial preparation of food.

5. The Town may prohibit, or reduce, any open burning activity which it determines to be a nuisance. This determination will be based on, but not limited to, the following criteria:

A. The severity of the amount of air pollutants, or malodorous material;

B. The duration or frequency of open burning;

C. The topography of the surroundings; and/or

D. The meteorological conditions.

6. This Section shall not allow or permit any open burning which would not otherwise be allowed or permitted under any applicable ordinance or fire code.

Discovery of Fire

Immediately upon the discovery of any open burning that is not being conducted in accordance with this Section, the person responsible for the property on which such burning occurs shall immediately extinguish, or cause the extinguishment of, such burning.


Proof that the defendant in any enforcement action owns or controls the property on which open burning occurs shall be prima facie evidence that such defendant has conducted, or allowed to be conducted, such open burning.


Open burning not contained in an approved enclosed receptacle shall be allowed within the Town of McCandless only with a permit issued through the Office of the Fire Marshal.

A. A fire prevention permit application must be filed with the Fire Marshal’s Office a minimum of 24 hours prior to the scheduled burn date. The permit must be submitted in full along with a $25.00 permit fee.

B. The fire department must be notified before and after the burn event. Allegheny County Emergency Services 9-1-1-dispatch center non-emergency number (412) 369-2200.

C. A minimum of one portable fire extinguisher or other approved on-site fire extinguishing agents, such as dirt, sand, water barrel or garden hose shall be available for immediate utilization.

D. A responsible person shall tend any open burning at all times.

E. The approved permit shall be in the possession of the applicant or authorized representative at the site of the permitted open burning site and shall be made available for inspection upon request by any fire protection, or law enforcement officer.

F. Open burning that is or will be objectionable due to the atmospheric conditions or local conditions (dry weather) make such fires hazardous shall be prohibited. The Fire Marshal, fire protection, or law enforcement officer is authorized to order the

extinguishment by the permit holder or the fire department of open burning that creates or adds to a hazardous or objectionable situation.

G. Only dry, clean, untreated wood products or other clean burning fuels are to be used for recreation, or cookout fires.

H. Only smokeless fuels, if any, may be used to start the fires.

I. The size of the fire is to be no larger than 3ft. X 3ft. X 2ft. in size.

J. The fire must be located a minimum of 25ft from any structure, house, shed, barn, fence, pedestrian or recreation area, roadway, or utilities.

K. The recreational burn may not exceed 8 hours in duration.

Penalty for violations:

Any person who violates any of the provisions of these sections or fails to comply with any order issued pursuant to any section thereof, shall be guilty of a summary offense, and upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine of up to $1000.00. Each day that a violation continues after due notice has been served shall be deemed a separate offense.

For additional information or any questions – please contact the Office of the Fire Marshal at (412) 364-0616.


These fires are an example of open burning contained in an approved enclosed receptacle – it has walls, as well as a mesh lid that acts as a spark arrestor to prevent embers from flying into the air.

This fire does NOT require a permit.

fire no permit needed


These fires are an example of open burning not contained in an approved enclosed receptacle. It is not contained in anyway, top or the sides.

This fire requires a $25.00 permit and is good for one time only.

fire permit needed