Open Burning & Fire Pits

Our Codes Department frequently receives questions about fire pits in the Borough of Carlisle. 

According to the Borough of Carlisle Code, open burning is prohibited. The definition of open burning, according to § 255-180D, is "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, smudge pots and similar devices associated with safety or occupational uses typically considered open flames or recreational fires. For the purpose of this definition, a chamber shall be regarded as enclosed when, during the time combustion occurs, only apertures, ducts, stacks, flues or chimneys necessary to provide combustion air and permit the escape of exhaust gas are open."

In addition,  "any outdoor burning which produces noxious smoke and causes personal discomfort to the occupant of or person on any nearby property or when atmospheric conditions or local circumstances make such fires hazardous shall not be permitted. All fires must be attended to at all times and completely extinguished by the person initiating the outdoor burning or by the property owner when done."

Fire pits are classified as recreational fires, not open burning, and they are permitted in the Borough provided the following:
  • There is a central burn chamber
  • The device has a flue/exhaust-containing device that controls excessive smoke
  • Is used intermittently/not for excessive or regular periods
  • Is done in a safe manner, away from other buildings or structures.
Carlisle Borough Committed to Excellence in Community Service
Carlisle Borough 53 West South Street + 717 249 4422 Mon-Fri: 7:30am - 4:30pm