Bonfires, Campfires, & Recreational Fires

Permitted open burning does not excuse you from consequences associated with damages or injuries. All laws, ordinances, regulations must be complied with according to federal government, Commonwealth of Virginia and/or Chesterfield County.

Prohibited Burns

  • Building and/or demolition material
  • Household/commercial trash or refuse
  • Paper, used lumber or trade waste
  • Rubber tires, asphaltic material, crankcase oil, or impregnated wood
  • Toxic or hazardous materials or containers for such materials


A written permit must be obtained from Chesterfield Fire and EMS, Fire and Life Safety Division. The permit is valid for day of bonfire only.

An application must be submitted at least 15 days before burn date. An application with all required permissions shall be submitted for each permit requested

Only one bonfire shall be ignited at a time not exceeding 5 feet by 5 feet, and it must be 50 feet from any structure. Only clean wood or firewood is allowed to be used as fuel. If the applicant is not the owner of property, the owner's written permission shall be obtained. A principal is acceptable for school property.

Recreational/Warming Fires

Recreational fires are allowed without permits if:

  • The fuel is clean wood only.
  • The fire is 25 feet from a structure or combustible material.
  • The fire is no larger than 3 feet in diameter and 2 feet in height.
  • A written permit is recommended for bonfires.