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Open Burning Regulations and Safety

On July 8, 2015, Home Rule Resolution No. HR-15-7-3 was passed by the Board of County Commissioners. This resolution changes the process of burn bans in unincorporated areas and is necessary to promote fire safety and to protect persons and property from the dangers of open burning. On March 29, 2017, additional changes were made to the Resolution. Burning is prohibited on days when the Rangeland Fire Index is Very High or Extreme or Red Flag criteria.

Burning is strictly prohibited on days where the Rangeland Fire Index is measured at Very High or Extreme. This information is published daily online or individuals can call 785-832-5394 after 8AM each morning. Douglas County still has the authority to issue a 7 day, or indefinite, burn ban, during which all open burning is prohibited unless in permanent stoves, fireplaces or grills. The Douglas County Open Burning Resolution allows for a local determination to be made by the County Administrator or his/her designee when a threat to the area exists or do to any other variable that could affect fire burning. Those variables include, but are not limited to:

1) Local jurisdictional authority

2) Rangeland Fire Index is high but the forecast is for sustained winds of greater than 15mph.

3) Rangeland Fire Index is low or moderate, but the forecast is for sustained winds greater than 20mph.

4) Resource limitation

5) Local conditions of dryness

Before The Burn:

  • Call the 911 Dispatch Center at 785-843-0250, so they know where and when you are planning to burn.
  • You may also call your local Fire Department to notify them of your burn.

Fire Safety:

  • Ensure someone will monitor the flame until the time of extinction.
  • Have adequate fire suppression equipment at the burn site.


Time of Day:

  • Open burning may not be initiated during nighttime. Nighttime is defined as the period from two hours before sunset until one hour after sunrise.


  • Burning may not be initiated within 100 ft. of any structure. Burning within 1,000 ft. of any occupied dwelling is prohibited unless the occupant has been notified.
  • If the burn is to take place within 1,000 ft. of a roadway, the person conducting the burn must notify law enforcement.
  • A person shall not conduct an open burn that creates an airport safety hazard.

Weather Conditions:

Agricultural open burning:

  • This is permitted for burning vegetation and brush cut on-site for the purpose of crop, pasture or watershed management.

Residential open burning:

  • . This is permitted on premises with five or less housing units that occur at least 1,000 feet from the dwelling.

Ceremonial and cooking open burning:

  • This is permitted on public or private land regularly used for entertainment purposes. The fire should not exceed five feet in diameter at its base or unless a permit is obtained from the Board of County Commissioners.

Construction open burning:

  • This is limited to the burning of clean wood from construction projects that is burned at the construction site.

Always make sure you follow Kansas State Statues regarding burning! They are found under: K.A.R. 28-19-647 and K.A.R. 28-19-648 Authorized by K.S.A. 65-3005 and K.S.A. 65-3010.

You can review the entire County Resolution on Open Burning. A general violation of open burning policy will result in a Class C misdemeanor or a Class A misdemeanor during a burn ban, in accordance with K.S.A 48-939.