Outdoor Burning

Outdoor burning in Texas is regulated by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ).  Generally, all outdoor burning in Texas is prohibited, but certain exceptions are allowed by TCEQ. Citizens may call TCEQ at 713-767-3714 to report concerns about potential illegal burning or to inquire if their planned burn activity meets an allowed exception.  If you live within the city limits of a city in Chambers County, that city may have specific ordinances relating to outdoor burning.

General TCEQ Requirements for Outdoor Burning in Texas

  • Land clearing and open burning for commercial development typically do not meet a TCEQ exception to burn. This includes clearing and burning for any purpose related to a business, subdivision development, etc. TCEQ requires an alternative method, such as trench or air-curtain burning in these cases. Call TCEQ at 713-767-3714 to inquire if your planned burn is allowed an exception.
  • Generally, burning of non-commercial land consisting of onsite vegetation and trees is allowed.
  • Under ALL circumstances, the burning must be monitored by the person conducting the burn, must not create a nuisance or traffic hazard and the burning must comply with all state laws and TCEQ rules.

Other Requirements for Outdoor Burning

  • Burning is not permitted during a County burn ban (issued during dry periods).
  • Do not burn electrical insulation, treated lumber, plastics, non-wood construction/demolition materials, heavy oils, asphaltic materials, potentially explosive materials, chemical wastes, and items containing natural or synthetic rubber.
  • Chambers County does not require or issue permits for outdoor burning, however, we do welcome prior notification for any planned, outdoor burning which meets the requirements as set forth as described above. This will help prevent false fire department dispatch. Notification can be made to the Chambers County Fire Marshal's Office at 409-267-2445 (Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5 pm), or Email the Fire Marshal, or to the Chambers County Dispatch Center at 409-267-2500 (24/7).

How to Report Illegal Burning

  • To report burning which does not fit an exception as described above, (for example, a commercial site being cleared) contact the Texas Commission for Environmental Quality (TCEQ) Region 12 office at 713-767-3714. TCEQ listens to citizen complaints.
  • TCEQ Environmental Compliant Hotline 888-777-3186. You may also submit a complaint via the online form on the Agency Website.
  • If the burning is causing immediate danger, call Chambers County Dispatch at 911 or 409-267-2500. This is especially important if the burn is causing a severe impact on homes and neighborhoods. If you need to report a true emergency, please call 911.
  • If you would like to report suspected illegal burning, but it is not an emergency or posing a danger, you may call the Chambers County Fire Marshal's Office at 409-267-2445 (Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5 pm) or Email the Fire Marshal.

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