Can I use a fire pit when the 4 pm Law is in effect?

Yes, if certain precautions are taken to cover and contain the fire. The 4 pm. Law applies to open-air burning, which means any outdoor fire that is not covered and/or contained within non-flammable barriers.

For example, a typical campfire is considered an open-air fire. However, an open-air fire may be acceptable if it meets all the following criteria: it is completely contained within a ring of rocks, cinderblocks, metal ring, or a similar device and is covered by a ¼ inch or smaller metal screen. If these criteria are met, the fire still must be attended at all times, and all flammable material should be cleared from a 20 foot area around the fire. Campers must also have ready access to water, rake and shovel.

Fires built in commercially available chimineas or fire pits are not considered open-air fires and are therefore legal, if they are in good condition to prevent the spread of fire to surrounding areas. Check with local authorities and/or the VA Department of Forestry for any concerns or questions.

Show All Answers

1. What is the 4 pm Law?
2. When is the 4 pm Law in effect?
3. Why is there a 4 pm Law?
4. Why 4 pm?
5. What is the main cause of wildfires in Virginia?
6. How many wildfires burn in Virginia each year and how many acres are burned?
7. Can I have a campfire if I put rocks around it?
8. If I take all precautions with my fire after 4 pm and it does escape and start a fire, am I responsible for the suppression cost?
9. What is the penalty for violating the 4 pm Law?
10. Can I use my charcoal or gas fire barbeque grill?
11. Are building contractors and road construction jobs exempt from the 4 pm Law?
12. Why are some people allowed to have open air fires before 4 pm when they are within 300 feet of the woods?
13. Can I use a fire pit when the 4 pm Law is in effect?