Open Burning

Improper outdoor burning can lead to fines up to $25,000 by TDEC. There is currently no burn permit system in the City of Kingsport.  Contact the Fire Marshal’s Office at 423-229-9440 before you burn and follow the guidelines below.

Even though open burning of natural materials such as leaves and brush is permissible inside the City of Kingsport, the Kingsport Fire Marshal’s Office encourages city residents to use the brush pickup service of Kingsport Public Works Streets & Sanitation at 423-229-9451.

Learn Before You Burn

Open burning inside the city must meet the following guidelines:
  • It’s permissible to burn leaves, branches, tree limbs, twigs, lawn clippings, woody vegetation, yard trimmings, clean unpainted, uncoated wood or untreated lumber.
  • A fire no more than 3 feet in diameter, and no more than 2 feet high must be at least 25 feet away from any structure.  Any larger fires  must be at least 50 feet away from any structure.
  • Provisions must be made to keep the fire from spreading.
  • Residents can be held responsible if a fire gets out of control.
  • If your fire is in a approved fire pit with a spark arrestor, the pit must be at least 15 feet from any structure
  • The fire must be attended to at all times.
  • You must have a means to extinguish the fire (water hose, fire extinguisher, .etc..)
  • Burning is not allowed on days with high winds, ozone days or when a burn ban has been put in place.

Please call the Kingsport Fire Marshal’s Office before you burn: 423-229-9440

What Not to Burn in Tennessee:
  • Tires and other rubber products
  • Vinyl siding and vinyl shingles
  • Plastics and other synthetic materials
  • Paper products, cardboard and newspaper
  • Asphalt shingles, and other asphalt roofing materials and demolition debris
  • Asbestos-containing materials
  • Paints, household and agricultural chemicals
  • Aerosol cans and food cans
  • Building material and construction debris
  • Buildings and mobile homes
  • Coated wire
  • Household trash
  • Most vegetation not grown on site

It may be okay to burn leaves, branches, tree limbs, twigs, lawn clippings, woody vegetation, yard trimmings, clean unpainted, uncoated wood or untreated lumber. Check your local and/or other state ordinances. Improper out-door burning can lead to fines up to $25,000. To report illegal burning call TDEC at 1-888-891-TDEC This is the Law in Tennessee.

Alert Tennesseans know there are other options instead of outdoor burning:

  • Recycling
  • Composting

Help reduce air pollution in Tennessee by avoiding outdoor burning.

Burn permits for residents outside the City of Kingsport

If you live outside the City of Kingsport you may need a burn permit for open burning. The following information is for you:

Online Outdoor Burning Permit Application for the State of Tennessee Department of Agriculture Division of Forestry 

Burn permits may be obtained by clicking here for burning of individual leaf or brush piles approximately 8 feet by 8 feet or smaller in size.

For forestry (understory, site prep), agricultural (crop stubble, field clearing), wildlife (habitat, warm season grasses), land clearing (dozer piles, windrows) or other burning,call the number listed for your county and speak with a Tennessee Department of Agriculture, Division of Forestry representative to request a permit.

This site is available to issue permits, when conditions permit, Oct. 15 – May 15, 8AM – 11PM.

Burning permits served through the website are authorized by the State Forester pursuant to T.C.A. 39-14-306.