How can I burn my trash without burning up Ellis County?

Answers to some Burning Questions!!

While Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) Outdoor Burning Rules and Regulations have been in place for years, the recent raging wild fires in West Texas have brought their importance to the forefront of our attention here in Ellis County. Most people simply aren’t aware of what they can and can’t do when it comes to burning their trash or land-clearing debris.

Here are some frequently asked questions and brief answers you may find helpful:

When is Outdoor Burning okay?
Outdoor burning is permitted in the unincorporated areas of the county when …

  • NO Burn Ban is in effect
  • Wind conditions are “less than” 23 mph
  • Burning begins no earlier than one hour after sunrise – and ends the same day no later than one hour before sunset
  • It does not pose a health threat or nuisance
    [Remember …always notify Ellis County Sheriff’s Office Dispatch at 972-937-6060
    before you begin your burn.]

What can I burn?
According to TCEQ rules, it is permissible to burn …

  • Normal household trash and debris
  • Tree limbs, brush, grass and leaves generated on-site from the property where the burning will be taking place

What can NOT be burned?

  • Tires
  • Treated lumber (such as construction or demolition waste)
  • Electrical insulation
  • Heavy oils or asphalt materials
  • Potentially explosive materials or chemicals
  • Furniture or other toxic material

What about ceremonial or recreational fires?

  • Bonfires, campfires, and cooking fires are permissible as long as they do not cause nuisance smoke or traffic hazards

Remember, you also have other options rather than burning. These include recycling, composting, mulching, and disposal in the local landfills. For more information, contact the Ellis County Fire Marshal’s office at 972-825-5555 – or visit TCEQ’s website at