Open Burning

Open burning is not permitted within the city limits without a permit and then only under very strict regulations. To request a site visit to see if a permit for open burning may be issued, please ensure that the materials and site meet the criteria listed below. Consider alternative disposal methods such as taking the materials to a city mulch site or placing the materials curb side on your regularly scheduled trash day for recycling.

A permit for open burning is not required for a recreational fire as defined by the 2015 International Fire Code. However, for the sake of safety, it is recommended that you follow the general guidelines for open burning when conducting a recreational fire. It is also appreciated if you call our department and advise us of the location and general times you will be conducting a recreational fire.

Definition of a recreational fire, section 202 of the 2015 International Fire Code:

  • An outdoor fire burning materials other than rubbish where the fuel being burned is not contained in an incinerator, outdoor fireplace, barbeque grill or barbeque pit and has a total fuel area of 3 feet (914 mm) or less in diameter and 2 feet (610 mm) or less in height for pleasure, religious, ceremonial, cooking, warmth or similar purposes.

A permit is required for bonfire. A bonfire would be considered a fire which does not meet the definition of a recreational fire.

Guidelines for requesting a permit for open burning:

  • Wind speed, including gusts, shall be less then 10 mph. Calm conditions with forecast of winds to increase during the day may be cause for the fire official to deny a permit or to attach strict time frame parameters to the permit.
  • Only trees, brush, and limbs shall be burned. NO burning of materials for waste disposal (trash) is allowed. There shall be no burning of leaves, except those still attached to the branches.
  • Fire area shall be no closer then 50 feet from any structure.
    • Exceptions:
      • Large brush piles shall be at least 200 yards from any structure.
      • Warming fires in approved containers shall be no closer then 15 feet from any structure.
  • Fire shall be constantly attended until the fire is extinguished.
  • Fire shall be extinguished by dusk.
    • Exceptions:
      • Large brush piles which cannot be burned in a single daylight period.
      • Burning past dusk must be approved by the fire official.
  • Permit is valid for the date of issuance only.
  • This permit does not relieve the permit holder from compliance with any state or federal regulations on open burning.

The fire official shall have the right to revoke a permit for opening burning for any violation of the above regulations, or if the open burning creates or adds to a hazardous or objectionable situation.

To obtain a permit for open burning –

Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5 PM, call 573-874-7556

Saturday and Sundays call 573-874-7450