Burning Regulations

 A burn permit IS NOT required for recreational fires or portable outdoor fireplaces. 

RECREATIONAL FIRE. An outdoor fire where the fuel being burned is not contained in an incinerator, outdoor fireplace, portable outdoor fireplace, barbeque grill or barbeque 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. 

PORTABLE OUTDOOR FIREPLACE. A portable, outdoor, solid-fuel-burning fireplace that may be constructed of steel, concrete, clay or other noncombustible material. A portable outdoor fireplace may be open in design, or may be equipped with a small hearth opening and a short chimney or chimney opening in the top. 

ALL recreational fires and portable outdoor fireplaces must be a minimum of fifteen feet (15’) away from all structures (including fences and outbuildings) or combustible materials and comply with the regulations listed below. 

Burning Permit Application

OPEN BURNING. The burning of materials wherein products of combustion are emitted directly into the ambient air without passing through a stack or chimney from an enclosed chamber. Open burning does not include road flares, smudgepots and similar devices associated with safety or occupational uses typically considered open flames, recreational fires or use of portable outdoor fireplaces. 

The location for open burning shall not be less than 50 feet from any structure, and provisions shall be made to prevent the fire from spreading to within 50 feet of any structure.  The pile size for opening burning shall be 5 feet or less in diameter, and 3 feet or less in height. 

SPECIAL USE OPEN BURNING shall be permitted on land or parcels developed as occupancies other than single family and one-and-two family residential uses and where the location for open burning shall not be less than 300 feet from any structure, and provisions shall be made to prevent the fire from spreading to within 300 feet of any structure.  The pile size for opening burning shall be 10 feet or less in diameter, and 6 feet or less in height.  All Special Use open burning sites shall be inspected by a fire code official prior to the initiation of the burn. 

You MUST obtain a burning permit for Open Burning or Special Use Burning. A phone message left at our office during weekends or holidays DOES NOT grant you authorization to burn.

ALL burning in Saginaw Township MUST comply with the following regulations: 

Open burning, recreational fires and use of portable outdoor fireplaces shall be constantly attended, by a responsible adult, at least eighteen (18) years of age, until the fire is extinguished. 

A minimum of one portable fire extinguisher with a minimum 4-A rating or other approved on-site fire-extinguishing equipment such as dirt, sand, water barrel, garden hose or water truck, shall be available for immediate utilization. 

Recreational fires and fires in portable outdoor fireplaces shall be extinguished by 11 p.m. or 2300 hours daily. 

Burning that is offensive or objectionable because of smoke or odor emissions or when atmospheric conditions or local circumstances make such fires hazardous is prohibited. 

Burning on land or parcels developed as occupancies other than single family and one-and-two family residential uses, except Special Use Open Burning is prohibited.

Burning of leaves, yard waste, ditch banks, household rubbish, building materials, paper products, or any product other than clean wood is prohibited. 

Burning when wind speeds exceed ten (10) miles per hour is prohibited.

No fires may be started before dawn. 

The fire code official or other identified member of the fire department is authorized to order the extinguishment by the permit holder, another person responsible or the fire department of open burning, recreational fires, or fires in portable outdoor fireplaces that creates or adds to a hazardous or objectionable situation.

Please call the Saginaw Township Fire Department offices (989.792.9691) if you have any questions regarding the burning regulations.

To obtain a Burning Permit, apply online at
Burning Permit Application, or call our office during regular business hours. You MUST obtain a burning permit for Open Burning or Special Use Burning. A phone message left at our office during weekends or holidays DOES NOT grant you authorization to burn.