Open Burning / Brush Fire Info

Open Burning and Brush Fire information from the Emergency Services of St. Charles County.

The long winter is winding down. Spring cleaning will soon be on everyone’s agenda, both inside the home and outside in the yard. Our yards are filled with debris from fallen leaves to tree limbs. But many people do not know what to do with this yard waste. Most cities in St. Charles County have areas set aside for the collections of this waste to recycle it as mulch. But usually the first thought that comes to mind is, “Let’s pile it up and Burn it”. So far in 2008, firefighters and paramedics have responded to 34 Grass/Brush/Woods fires. Spring is usually the busiest time for these types of emergencies. In an effort to try keep a handle on these small fires, the State of Missouri came up with a State Statue which governs Open Burning state-wide.

The Open Burning season in St. Charles County runs from September 16th to April 14th every year (10CSR 10-5.070(3) (B)). Open burning is prohibited from April 15th to September 15th by this statute. As St. Charles County is in the St. Louis Metropolitan Area it must adhere to the St. Louis Clean Air Policy. The State Statute dictates who can burn and where open burning may occur. It also, names the local Fire Departments and Districts as administers of the permits. All of the Municipalities in St. Charles County ban or bar open burning within their city limits (10CSR 10-5.070(1) (A)). The only places where open burning can occur are in unincorporated areas of St. Charles County. Even then the property owners there must obtain a burn permit from their local Fire Department or Fire District. These permits are required by the statute and have very specific rules that must be followed by the permit holder (10CSR 10-5.070(3) (c)).

The firefighters and paramedics of the St. Charles County Emergency Services remind those with burn permits to follow the requirements of the permit. They also ask that anyone planning to have an open burn to come by and get a permit. For the rules governing the issuing of permits and the costs associated with the permits, please contact your local fire department or district. Permit holders are asked to call the issuing Fire Agency prior to lighting the fire. Anyone burning without a permit can be assessed a fine by the St. Charles County Sheriff’s Department.

When conducting a fire, the firefighters and paramedics ask that our customers follow the rules on the permits. Making sure you have a garden hose, rakes, shovels or fire extinguisher close by will allow for a safer fire. If the fire becomes uncontrollable, immediately call 9-1-1!

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