City of Grosse Pointe Farms

Recreational Burn Permit Application

Please read the rules and regulations before submitting your Recreational Burn Permit Application.

Intent of Burn Permit Rules and Regulations:

            The Grosse Pointe Farms Fire Prevention Bureau and Department of Public Safety will permit the outdoor burning of hardwood for non-cooking purposes so long as the following rules and regulations are adhered to for the duration of each fire.  These rules and regulations are intended to address the open burning of materials not otherwise required to be disposed of as provided in the Michigan Solid Waste Management Act or as provided in other statutes or regulations governing the disposal of hazardous wastes. Further, these rules and regulations are intended to complement the requirements set forth in the Grosse Pointe Farms Fire Code, as adopted by Ordinance No. 380, Code No. 6-05. In the event of conflict among such ordinances and adopted codes, standards, and recommended practices, the most restrictive rule and/or regulation shall apply and shall be enforced by the authority(s) having jurisdiction (AHJ’s).

General Prohibition of Open Burning:

            Pursuant to Section 7(e) of the Grosse Pointe Farms Fire Code, Ordinance No. 380, Code No. 6-05, except in the case of a resident possessing a valid recreational burn permit and acting in conformity with such permit and these rules and regulations, the kindling and/or maintaining of any bonfire or exposed open fire is not permitted on any public or private property within Grosse Pointe Farms.


            Open Burning: The burning of any materials (natural gas excluded) wherein products of combustion are emitted directly into the ambient air without passing through a stack or chimney from an enclosed chamber.

Permit Rules and Regulations:

1. Recreational burn permits are annual permits that are valid for a period of one calendar year, starting on January 1st and expiring on December 31st regardless of the issue date.  Provided that the permit holder acts in conformity with these rules and regulations, the permit holder may apply for renewal of the permit for a successive one year period.

2. Permits issued for a residential household require the burning to take place at that residential household only, with the fire constantly attended by an adult until the fire is fully extinguished.  The kindling or maintenance of a fire at a location other than the designated residential household, or the failure of an adult to be present at all times until the fire is fully extinguished, will be grounds for revocation of the permit.

3. The permit holder must have the written permit readily available while burning. Electronic proof is permissible.

4. Only an approved container manufactured as an outdoor fireplace/fire pit may be used. Such container shall be constructed of metal or masonry with a metal covering device (which must be used) with openings no larger than ¾ inches and must be in good condition and used in accordance with the manufacturer’s directions. Burning in an unapproved container, or in a barrel, hole, or pit in the ground, is strictly prohibited. 

5. Only clean, dry hardwood shall be burned, with the wood placed fully inside the container. Yard waste or scrap wood shall not be burned. 

6. While burning, the container used for burning shall be located at least ten (10) feet away from any building or structure and set upon a non-combustible flat surface.  The container must be secured on a flat surface so that it cannot roll or otherwise migrate in location.

7. Never attempt to light a bonfire using an accelerant (lighter fluid, gasoline, etc.).

8. There shall be an operable garden hose, certified fire extinguisher, or other adequate method of extinguishment on hand and readily accessible at all times while the fire is burning.

9. Fires shall be fully extinguished by not later than 1:00 am.

10. Property loss attributable, in whole or in part, to any recreational burn shall be the responsibility of the owners and/or tenants at the property at which the recreational burn takes place.  The responsibility for property loss shall exist whether a valid recreational burn permit has been issued or not.

11. A person shall not cause or permit the emission of an air contaminant in quantities that cause, alone or in reaction with other air contaminants, either of the following:

(a) Injurious effects to human health or safety, animal life, plant life of significant economic value, or property. (Smoke and ash shall not be a nuisance to neighbors.)

            (b) Unreasonable interference with the comfortable enjoyment of life and property.

12. Grosse Pointe Farms Fire Prevention Bureau and/or Public Safety Department personnel shall have the ultimate and final discretion to order the open burning to cease. In making such determinations, department personnel shall consider the existing atmospheric conditions, wind direction, and any other obvious or known health conditions of persons in the vicinity who may be affected by the open burning.  Your full cooperation with Grosse Pointe Farms personnel at all times is expected and appreciated and will facilitate recreational open burning in a safe manner for all residents and their neighbors.

13. In the event a fire is ordered to cease, the fire may not be restarted until the permit holder is given prior written approval by the Grosse Pointe Farms Fire Marshal or designated Public Safety Department personnel.

14. It shall be unlawful for any person to kindle or maintain an open fire in the City of Grosse Pointe Farms without a recreational burning permit. Permits may be obtained online at and follow the link to the Public Safety Department page.

15. Open burning outside the strict application of the above-listed rules and regulations shall be permitted only upon advance written approval of the Grosse Pointe Farms Director of Public Safety, the Fire Chief, the Fire Marshal, or their designee.

16.  Any violation of these rules and regulations shall be sufficient grounds to revoke a recreational burn permit and to refuse to grant future applications for a renewed recreational burn permit.

17. In the event of an emergency, immediately contact the Fire Department by dialing 911.

Recreational Burn Permit Application