Burning permits are issued by the Department for 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 burning permits are issued at the fire/medical stations for residents requesting to be allowed to dispose of yard and garden waste generated on the property.

A burning permit must be completed and conditions explained to the resident. In addition, the issuing station must notify Dispatch regarding the location of the burning permit.

During the period of February 1 to April 30, a permit may be obtained to burn off vegetation within the 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. No burning of building wastes or trash is allowed (exception: burning of wood in barrels for warmth during cold weather is tolerated for the duration of the cold season). 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.

Periodically, special burning permits may be issued for sweat lodges, bonfires and campfires. Campfires (no larger than 3' X3' X2') do not require a permit but one is usually issued to reduce confusion should a complaint arise. Campfires are viewed as cooking fires (similar to BBQ grills and gas grills) and are not regulated. Fires larger than 3' X3' 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 burning permits from the Fire Medical Department; however, we appreciate notification by them of burning operations.

The City of Lawrence is required to obtain burning 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.