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Open Flame

Open Flame/ Burn Permit Guidelines

In accordance with the requirements of The University's Fire & Life Safety Program, a permit is required before the ignition of any open flame on state owned property.  The following are a list of some example activities that require an Open Flame/ Burn Permit:

  • Application must be made in writing (7) working days prior to the request of this permit.
  • recognized range or wildlife management practices
  • prevention to control disease or pests
  • providing heat for outdoor workers
  • campfires/fire pits
  • artwork and/or performances involving flames
  • cooking involving flames (indoor and outdoor)
  • torches/cressets
  • religious ceremonies and/or activities involving open flames, candles and/or incense.


  • Location - Fires in approved containers shall be permitted, provided that such fires are not less than 25 feet from any structure. Extreme caution should be used to prevent the ignition of any nearby trees, foliage, or grassland, vehicles or equipment, or any other object adjacent, above, or below the area of the fire.
  • Materials - Fuel for fires shall consist only of seasoned dry firewood and shall be ignited with a small quantity of paper. Do not use flammable or combustible liquids or gases, reactive chemicals, rubber, plastics, or other unapproved methods of ignition.
  • Attendance - Any open flames shall be constantly attended until the fire is extinguished.  At a minimum the permit requestor is expected to be at the permitted event to ensure adherence to the permit conditions.
  • Fire suppression - One of the following, or the equivalent, shall be immediately available and ready for use in the area of the fire:
    • At least one portable fire extinguisher, 10-lb. ABC multi-purpose dry chemical)
    • Other approved fire extinguishing equipment, such as dirt, sand, water barrel, garden hose, to be provided by requestor
    • Williamsburg Fire Department shall be notified by the EH&S Office to be on site prior to an open burning, when required.
  • Training -  Portable fire extinguisher training is required for those supervising an open flame/burn activity.  If you have not received this training, contact the EH&S Office at 1-2146 or to request training.