Outdoor Burning

Each year, we respond to numerous outdoor burning accidents. Follow the tips below to ensure that you are safely burning and to reduce the risk that Matagorda Volunteer Fire Department needs to step in to help.

  1. Check the Conditions.
    Since Matagorda is a coastal region, it is typically windy. Don’t try to burn brush or debris during windy or dry conditions. The humid environment can also be misleading. Though the air is humid, vegetation can be very dry allowing fire to spread very quickly.
  2. Check local regulations.
    Matagorda Volunteer Fire Department posts whether a burn ban is in place on the homepage of this website. Outdoor fire pits can even be dangerous during a burn barn. Avoid creating any fires during this time. Report all controlled burns to the Matagorda County Sheriff’s Office at (979) 245-5526 before you start burning.
  3. Burn Approved Items
    You can burn dry, natural vegetation, grown on the property. Never burn household items, chemicals, plastics, construction materials (such as insulation or drywall) or tires.
  4. Look Up
    Burn away from powerlines, overhanging limbs, buildings, vehicles, and equipment. You’ll need at least three times the height of the pile of vertical clearance.
  5. Look Around
    Your burning site should be surrounded by dirt or gravel. Keep any vegetation nearby watered down in case a spark were to land in the area. Keep a shovel nearby to help put out any fires that might ignite or to keep the fire from running.
  6. In it for the long haul
    Never leave a pile or burn barrel until the fire is completely burned down and out.

For additional guidance on burning, view the TCEQ Burning Guide for Texas.

If your burn becomes outside of your control, immediately dial 911. The Bay City dispatchers will alert the Matagorda Volunteer Fire Department.