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CWPP Education



Burning permits are REQUIRED by the Wisconsin DNR when the ground is not completely snow-covered.  DNR burning permits are issued annually to a person, not to a specific address, and are non-transferable.

Your burning permit is assigned to you, as an individual, and can be used anywhere in the state that a DNR burning permit is required if you have complied with local and state burning laws. Burning permits are free and easy to obtain.  You can get one by clicking here.
Spring is Wisconsin's peak fire season and when most fire restrictions are in effect. This occurs shortly after the snow-cover disappears and prior to vegetation greening. Burning is typically restricted to late afternoon or evening hours to reduce the chances of a fire escaping. In the evening, winds are calmer, humidity rises and temperatures are cooler. Always keep an eye on the changing weather conditions and stay within the specified burn times and size limitations as indicated by the daily restrictions.

Permit holders must comply with all the conditions associated with the burning permit and take all reasonable precautions to prevent escape of the fire. The person responsible for lighting the fire is required to have a valid burning permit with them at all times while burning and must be available to present to law enforcement or firefighters if requested. If you fail to obtain a burning permit, do not comply with the daily fire restrictions or allow your fire to escape, you may be cited by law enforcement.
Remember to check the daily burning restrictions or call the hotline 1-888-WIS-BURN (947-2876) before burning.

Debris burning is the number one cause of wildfires in Wisconsin.  If you choose to burn, here are a few tips.

  • Have your permit and follow any restrictions
  • Comply with local ordinances
  • Burn only legal materials
  • Watch the weather – don’t burn under windy conditions!
  • Make sure the adjacent area is free of all flammables
  • Have a water source and firefighting tools handy
  • Keep the size of the fire small
  • Maintain a mineral soil firebreak around the burn area
  • Never leave your fire unattended!
  • If weather conditions change for the worse, put your fire out
  • If your fire escapes, call 911 immediately
  • Make sure the burn is completely out before leaving
  • Use lots of water to drown your fire.  Stir and repeat till cold
  • Check for any remaining smoke or embers
What’s legal to burn?

  • Brush
  • Leaves
  • Pine needles
  • Grass
  • Clean wood
  • Unrecyclable paper
  • Unrecyclable cardboard

What can’t I burn?

  • Garbage
  • Plastics
  • Shingles
  • Foam
  • Structures
  • Furniture
  • Wire and metal
  • Electronics
  • Vinyl and rubber products
  • Oil based paint
  • Painted, stained or treated wood

CAMPFIRES VS DEBRIS…Do I need a burning permit or not?

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If you are burning in a campfire ring or fire pit with the intent to eliminate debris, a DNR burning permit is required. However, small fires for warming or cooking purposes do not require a DNR burning permit and are allowed anytime of the day, except during Emergency Burning Restrictions.