Open Burning


The Ohio Fire Code (OFC) sets the minimum standards for fire safety in the State of Ohio. The OFC grants the State Fire Marshal the authority to establish rules that become statewide law and apply within the City of Xenia. Other codes and laws governing Open Burning are regulated and enforced by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (Ohio EPA). 

The Xenia Fire Division receives many requests for information related to open-burning, recreational fire requirements within the City limits. We have assembled a list of those requirements below. Please read carefully for further instructions on how to be “fire safe” for you, your neighbors, and your community.

Recreational fire is defined as: “An outdoor fire burning materials other than rubbish where the fuel being burned is not contained in an incinerator, outdoor fireplace, barbecue grill or barbecue pit and has a total fuel area of 3 feet or less in diameter and 2 feet or less in height for pleasure, religious, ceremonial, cooking, warmth or similar purposes.” OFC section 202 ‐ GENERAL DEFINITIONS

Ohio EPA rules contain additional provisions for open burning within restricted areas that applies to the City of Xenia. Under the Ohio EPA rules, yard waste materials (such as leaves, paper, grass, or trash) cannot be burned at any time. Use only clean, seasoned firewood or equivalent. Wood stack should not be any larger than 3 ft. wide x 2 ft. high.

Residents may have a recreational fire subject to the following rules and regulations as stated in the Ohio Fire Code Section 307 – Open Burning, Recreational Fire and Portable Outdoor Fire Places.

  • 304.4.2: For an open fire not contained, the fire must be at least 25 feet from a structure, wood fence, neighboring structure, or combustible materials. Conditions that could cause a fire to spread within 25 feet of the fire must be eliminated prior to ignition of a fire; however, recreational fires in an approved container (such as an outdoor fireplace, barbecue pit, etc.) may be at least 15 feet from a structure, wood fence, neighboring structure, or combustible materials.
  • 307.4.2.1: Recreational fires contained in a gas-fired recreational pit (permanent or temporary) must be at least 15 feet from a structure, wood fence, neighboring structure, or combustible materials.
  • 307.4.3: Portable outdoor fireplaces shall be used in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions and shall not be operated within 15 feet of a structure, wood fence, neighboring structure, or combustible material.
  • 307.5: All recreational fires shall be constantly attended while burning and must be extinguished when not attended. A portable fire extinguisher with a minimum of a 4A rating or garden hose, bucket of water or sand, or other suitable means for extinguishing the fire must be provided.
  • 307.3: The Xenia Fire Division is authorized to extinguish fires when open burning creates or adds to a hazardous situation, or when a recreational fire does not meet the above requirements. Additionally, the Fire Division is authorized to extinguish any fire when the Ohio Fire Marshal issues a ban on open burning for any use until the ban is rescinded (a ban on open burning is typically during atmospheric or drought conditions).

For a printable or downloadable version please click the link below:

Open Burning

Please contact the Xenia Fire Division at (937) 376-7280 with any additional questions.

Additional Resources

Ohio Fire Marshal’s Office

Ohio EPA – Open Burning

rev 11‐15‐2021 file: recreational fire 2021.doc