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Open Burning

What are the Rules for Opening Burning?

  • Within the City Limits, residents are allowed to have backyard fires for RECREATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY. Backyard fires cannot be used for disposal. 
  • All fires directly on the ground must receive prior approval from this office BEFORE they are lit.
    • Call (812) 436-4412 during business hours for approval.
    • Please call no more than 48 hours before you burn because conditions change and burning may be banned due to weather or air quality. 
  • Only CLEAN, DRY WOOD can be used in recreational fires. Material not allowed:
    • Painted, treated, or wet wood. 
    • Trash or other waste, including paper or cardboard.
    • Leaves, grass, pine needles, or other yard waste.
    • Tree stumps or root balls.
  • Fires may be no wider than three feet wide by two feet high (3'x2').
  • Fires MUST BE ATTENDED AT ALL TIMES THEY ARE LIT. Do not leave a smoking fire, as they can reignite.
  • A method to extinguish the fire must be on hand with the fire is lit. A hose, sand, or fire extinguisher are all acceptable methods of fire control.
  • Within Vanderburgh County but outside the City Limits, residents may burn tree limbs and sticks for disposal in a non-combustible container, like a burn barrel or raised fire bowl. Prior approval IS REQUIRED for these types of fires.