Burn Permits and Requirements

Residential Burn Permits Not Available Today

Residential burn permits WILL NOT be available today, due to the projected forecasts of the National Weather Service and Rangeland Fire Danger Index. Conditions not favorable for burning could include winds exceeding (>) 15 mph and Rangeland Fire Index of VERY HIGH or EXTREME category.

Burn permits are issued by the Fire Medical Department for the burning of natural vegetation and materials “generated by the normal course of habitation” of a dwelling. Two types of permits are issued: those for residential burning of leaves and brush, and those for commercial burning of land clearing operations.

Residential burn permits are issued by electronic approval as provided on our website for residents requesting to be allowed to burn yard and garden waste generated on the property. A burn permit must be completed and conditions explained to the resident. The issuing fire station shall notify Dispatch regarding the location of the burn permit.

During the period of February 1 to April 30, a permit may be obtained to burn off vegetation within  water retention basins. Applications must be made through the Prevention Division and an inspection of the burn location by the Fire Marshal or his designee must be completed before the permit is approved. All conditions as set forth for a residential burn must be met.

Open burning for the purpose of land clearing operations is the only burning allowed by business or construction companies. These permits are issued by the Prevention Division after certain conditions are met. All requests by businesses for burning permits are referred to the Prevention Division.

Special burning permits may be issued for sweat lodges and bonfires. Campfires are viewed as recreational fires per the International Fire Code. Locally, campfires less than 3’ x 3’ x 2’ and maintained 25’ from any structure or combustible material do not require a permit. Citizens may use the residential burn permit process for campfires to reduce confusion should a complaint arise. Fires larger than 3′ x 3′ x 2′ are considered bonfires and require a permit from the Prevention Division.

The University of Kansas property and Haskell Indian Nations University property are on State and Federal owned properties respectively. Neither is required to obtain burn permits from the Fire Medical Department; however, we appreciate notification by them of burning operations.

The City of Lawrence is required to obtain burn permits for burning operations for land clearing, crop management or vegetation disposal.

Types of Permits and How to Apply

Contact the Prevention Division with questions regarding burning within the City limits at (785) 830-7000.