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Burn Permits

Information on securing an open burn permit in Shawnee County.

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Current News


Polar Plunge

Come join the fun at the annual Polar Plunge, sponsored by the Special Olympics Kansas. This years event will be held January 29, 2011 (weather permitting), with registration starting at 10:00 a.m. As in the past, the SHFD Water Rescue will be assisting during the event. Come take the plunge, or join the crowd watching those that do. Click here for more information.



Recent News


New Apparatus

The department recently took possession of a truck that will be used by the water recue team. With a lot more storage and on-board air supply, the department will be better positioned to deliver water rescue services.



Burn Regulations for Shawnee County


A message from the Shawnee County Health Agency

Open burning is a convenient way to get rid of certain waste materials and can be an aid in crop management. However, the smoke and debris from these fires reduces air quality and is the trigger for many respiratory conditions in the residents of Shawnee County. It is also a possible safety hazard to property and an expense to residents when the fire departments respond to illegal, non-permitted or out-of-hand open burns.

Open burning is prohibited in Kansas with few automatic exemptions. One of those exemptions is for residential open burning by homeowners with fewer than five dwellings on a property and another is for agricultural/prairie land management. Any other exemption to the open burning regulation must meet certain requirements and be approved by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) or its representative. KDHE's representative in Shawnee County is the Shawnee County Health Agency (SCHA).

In addition, Shawnee County Home Rule Resolutions require that any open burning operation in Shawnee County must be permitted by the local fire district and that the burning of household trash within the county borders is prohibited.

Open Burning Regulations

Open burning is regulated in the State of Kansas under the pollution emission control regulations, K.A.R. 28-19-645. Authorized exemptions to K.A.R 28-19-645 are allowed under K.A.R 28-19-647 and agricultural burning is allowed under K.A.R. 28-19-648. Additionally, Shawnee County has adopted Open Burning Regulations which serve to regulate, control and authorize the fire departments to issue burn permits.

Residential Burn Permits

Residents of Shawnee County who are interested in engaging in any open burning, should contact the fire station closest to the burn location and complete the necessary paperwork to receive an Authorization to Burn Permit. For Shawnee Heights Fire District, permits are issued for the calendar year and expire on December 31st of the year they are issued.

Commercial Burn Permits

Businesses and municipalities who are interested in engaging in any open burning operations are required to have an inspection completed by the fire department and approval from the SCHA Air Quality Section prior to burning. This process takes 24 to 48 hours to complete, so please plan for delays when conducting commercial burning. Permits are issued for the proposed burn project only, and expire at project completion.

Open Burning Do's

  • Call or visit your local fire department for information about what you can burn, how to get a permit, and if you need an exemption to burn from the health agency or not.
  • Call your fire district each day that you want to burn to check on burning conditions and to get permission to burn.
  • Burn only dried, clean trees and brush and organic wastes, such as wild grasses and agricultural fields. Clean wood waste at construction sites includes only dimension, non-treated lumber (2x4's, 2x6's etc.) It does not include plywood, pressboards, and other composite woods.
  • Consider alternatives to open burning such as recycling and composting. Shawnee County has a Household Hazardous Waste recycling site (233-6147) and a tree dump (368-3862) to help out.
  • Burn only dry materials that can burn on their own.
  • Stay with the fire while it's burning. If you have to leave, put out the fire or get someone else to watch it for you.
  • Burn only when the wind is above 5 mile per hour and below 15 miles per hour. Call your fire district for the information.
  • Create a firebreak (mowed, tilled, or plowed) for at least 15 feet on all sides of the burn area.
  • Notify your neighbors within 1000 feet of the burn site of your intentions.
  • Notify your local law enforcement agency if you plan on burning within 1000 feet of a roadway.

Open Burning Don'ts

  • Do not add any materials to the fire 2 hours before sunset and one hour after sunrise.
  • Do not burn on overcast, cloudy or wet days.

Shawnee County No-Burn List

The following is a partial list of items you cannot burn in Shawnee County. If you have questions about items you want to burn, call the Air Quality Section of the Shawnee County Health Agency at 368-2054.

  • Pallets
  • Shingles
  • Tar paper
  • Vinyl siding
  • Masonite siding
  • Wood paneling
  • Primed, painted, varnished, or finished wood
  • House-wrap (Tyvek)
  • Paint cans, rollers, brushes, trays
  • Carpet or carpet pad
  • Linoleum
  • Oriented-strand board (OSB), wafer or particle boards
  • Caulking tubes
  • Electrical wire
  • Conduit pipe or junction boxes
  • PVC pipe
  • Plastics
  • Insulation, fiberglass, foam, Styrofoam
  • Trash (Residential or Commercial)
  • Treated lumber, CCA
  • Railroad ties or telephone poles
  • Wet/green lumber
  • Household furnishings or household waste
  • Asbestos material
  • Petroleum products
  • Dead animals
  • Metals
  • Tires
  • Oil
  • Aerosol cans