Burning Leaves inside the City Limits


Rick Merryfield - Deputy Chief
Fire Prevention Bureau
With the fall season upon us, many people have thoughts of burning leaves and brush.

City of Eau Claire residents are reminded to obtain a burning permit in accordance with City of Eau Claire ordinance 16.32.015 "Burning Permits" if they choose to burn leaves, grass, vegetable matter or small brush. There is a $3.00 fee for burning permits.

Cooking fires do not require a burn permit.

It is unlawful for any person, firm or corporation to kindle or maintain an outdoor fire without first obtaining a permit from the fire department. Burning permits can be obtained at any of the six city fire stations in the RED self-serve burning permit box.

The permits are available for individuals to issue to themselves. One copy is put in the box for documentation, and the other copy goes with the citizen. A burning permit is only valid for the day of burning and cannot be obtained for future burning dates because fire conditions change on a daily basis.

Burning is allowed during the hours of 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. or sundown-whichever comes first. The burning permit hotline (839-3882) should be called to verify that burning is allowed for that particular day. With a permit, burning is authorized for the following purposes and conditions only:

· Burning grass, leaves and vegetable matter (pile 4' x 4' x 3').
· Brush one (1) inch or less in diameter may be burned (pile 4' x 4' x 3').
· Material shall be dry and smoke kept to a minimum.
· The fire shall be attended at all times and a garden hose or water type
extinguisher available.
· The individual obtaining the permit shall own the property or have the
owner's permission.
· Brush piles must be 50' from any structure or other combustibles.
· In the event burning is deemed to cause a human health hazard or noxious odors, the fire will be ordered extinguished.

There are a few burning situations that do not require a burning permit but shall be subject to restriction by the fire department at any time:
· Outdoor cooking.
· Training for fire departments.
· Campfires, to include an outdoor open fire that is kindled and maintained within a noncombustible receptacle made and designed for such a purpose if the fire is contained entirely within the receptacle and does not pose a threat to health, safety and welfare. Under no circumstances will such a receptacle be used to burn plastics, trash, garbage or other products that might produce noxious fumes. Burning barrels are not allowed in the city of Eau Claire.

There is no large commercial burning allowed in the city of Eau Claire. No businesses, homeowners or contractors will be allowed to burn large piles of brush, logs, building materials, or stumps. These parties may take out a burning permit as long as the permit rules are followed.

Violations of City of Eau Claire ordinance 16.32.015, "Burning Permits", are subject to a $198.60 fine. Infractions of the permit conditions may result in a fine and/or immediate extinguishment of the fire.

The Eau Claire Fire Department encourages the citizens of Eau Claire to practice fire safety by keeping grills (Charcoal or LP) 15 feet away from combustible material, and when discarding hot ashes, place them in a metal type receptacle away from combustibles. Residents who use approved metal burning receptacles or "Chimenea" burners, please follow the manufacturer recommendations as they pertain to the
placement and storage of these devices.

If there are any additional questions concerning burning permits, please visit the City of Eau Claire's web site at www.eauclairewi.gov or contact the Fire Prevention Division at

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