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Outdoor Burning Season

Spring is here and it is time to burn off your garden spots and clean up around the house. Remember that the city of Oneonta has burn restrictions within the city limits and police/fire jurisdiction.

Check out the Burn Permit Tab and view the links to assist you before you burn.



Click on photo for Fire Weather Conditions from the National Weather Service in Birmingham. Review text for RED FLAG CONDITIONS

.Click here to obtain a burn permit for prescribed burns larger than a ¼ acre. Inside or outside the City Limits of Oneonta. Issued by the Alabama Forestry Commission.

For Fire Departments, click here to determine the status of Burn Permits Issued by the Alabama Forestry Commission. Click on tab and select county to view permits.

Alabama Forest Commission


Before a resident or property owner ignites any fire, please notify the Oneonta Fire Department at (205) 274-2752. We will notify the 9-1-1 dispatch center and alert area fire departments that you will be conducting burning on your property.

If you plan to burn an area or vegetation pile larger than 1/4 of an acre you are required to notify the Alabama Forestry Commission at 1-800-572-2017.

When Can I Burn?

During the last several years, the Oneonta Area has suffered extreme drought conditions making it dangerous for the development and spread of wildland fires.

The Oneonta Fire Department coordinates daily with the Alabama Forestry Commission and The National Weather Service to ensure that the environmental conditions are safe for outdoor burning.

Visit the Alabama Forestry Commission at www.forestry.state.al.us/FireWarningDesc.aspx. to be sure that dangerous conditions do not exists.

What Can I Burn?

Pursuant to Oneonta Municipal Ordinances, only natural vegetation or untreated building materials can be burned within the city limits of Oneonta.

Items that CANNOT BE BURNED are as follows:

  • Building Materials - treated woods, felt paper, shingles, etc.
  • Tires or Plastics
  • Household Garbage
  • Cardboard Boxes
  • When does the Fire Department Get Involved?
  • Pursuant to Oneonta Municipal Ordinances, the Oneonta Fire Department may ask you to extinguish the fire if one of the following occur:

    • A No Burn Order is in effect
    • Items other than natural vegetation are being burned
    • If the fire you are maintaining is causing a significant public nuisance
    • If you leave the fire unattended
    • If the fire you are maintaining leaves the prescribed burn area or leaves your property causing damage to other property
    • At the discretion of the Fire Marshal

    • Burn Restrictions (As defined from then Alabama Forestry Service Web Site)

    Fire Alert - (Issued by the Alabama Forestry Commission)

    When weather conditions are such that there are an abnormal number of wildfires, or several unusually large wildfires in an area, or when there is an issue with severe smoke causing air quality degradation, The State Forester may issue a Fire Alert for specified counties. This allows the Alabama Forestry Commission to restrict the issuing of Burning permits. On most days, permits are issued to everyone who meets the requirements of the permit law. During a low level Fire Alert, only Certified Prescribed Burn Managers with adequate manpower and equipment may be issued a permit. During a higher level Fire Alert, no burn permits are issued at all.

    Drought Emergency - (Issued by the Governor)

    A Drought Emergency can be declared when a Fire Alert fails to control a wildfire situation. Generally this occurs when the Keetch-Byram Drought Index (KBDI) is over 600 and there are on average more than 1 wildfire per county per day over a wide area. The State Forester works with the Governor’s Office to issue a formal regulation, which has the effect of law. A Drought Emergency is commonly called a “No Burn Order” and prohibits any outdoor burning, including any prescribed burns, camp fires, trash fires, and cooking fires and barbeques. When a Drought Emergency is declared, it includes a list of restricted burns.

    Red Flag Warning - (Issued by the National Weather Service)

    The National Weather Service issues a “Red Flag Warning” for specific areas when weather conditions indicate a high fire danger potential. A warning is issued when the relative humidity is lower than 30 percent; winds are greater than 10 miles per hour and the KBDI is over 500 OR the area is under a Fire Alert. Generally these conditions may lead to higher chances of a wildfire occurring and higher chances of a fire spreading out of control.

    Summer Burning Restrictions (Issued by Alabama Department of Environmental Management)

    Under ADEM regulations, “open burning” is not allowed during the months of May, June, July, August, September and October in counties that have ozone or summer air quality issues. This regulation does not apply to prescribed burns, but does apply to the burning of piled debris for land clearing or any “miscellaneous” burns. The AFC will not issue Burn Permits for these restricted burns during the restricted periods for restricted counties

    USDA Forest Service Public-Use Restrictions - (Issued by the USFS)

    During times of high wildfire danger, The USDA Forest Service may restrict or close a portion of a National Forest to the public. This is a safety consideration as well as a fire prevention action. These restrictions are posted on the USDA Forest Service website.www.fs.fed.us/r8/alabama