Burning Information

Spring Fire Season

It’s that time of year again in the Township of Stockton, warm temperatures, snow melting and that urge to go and attack your spring yard work.

Many homeowners find that they have the urge to complete clean up around their homes and take care of the long awaited spring projects. Many also feel that this is the time to “burn” away many of their long awaited tasks. The spring fire season for the fire service becomes one of the busiest times of the year in fighting wildland fires within the communities.

Some questions you need to consider before you light that match:

  1. Do you know what you can burn?
  2. Do you have a burning permit?
  3. Have you check what the burning conditions are for the day?
  4. Do you have adequate water supply to stop a fire if it gets away from you?
  5. Do you know that you will be charged for all of the responding fire equipment if your fire “gets away” from you?
  6. Do you know that you can be fined for unauthorized burning?

Our friends at the Wisconsin DNR have instituted a number of new programs to help homeowners get the right information in regards to the questions above. Everything from what can be burned to securing a yearlong burning permit (yes, even getting a permit on-line) and provide the ability to check on weather conditions or fire danger for each day of burning within your county. These helpful items can be found at https://dnr.wi.gov/topic/forestfire/permits.html and  https://dnr.wi.gov/topic/ForestFire/restrictions.html. Play it safe and get a permit and know what to burn and the weather conditions before you decide to burn.

Allowed items to burn:

  • Brush
  • Leaves
  • Needles
  • Grass
  • Clean wood (unpainted/untreated)
  • Unrecyclable paper
  • Unrecyclable cardboard

Prohibited items to burn:

  • Garbage
  • Plastics
  • Shingles
  • Foam
  • Furniture
  • Wire
  • Metal
  • Aluminum
  • Vinyl products
  • Rubber products
  • Oil-based products

Homeowners are not alone with their “burning” desire to take care of those spring projects. Many businesses and business owners also get that desire when spring arrives, but I want to inform all businesses that the rules are very different when it comes to burning on your business properties, and if you are considering to burn that old shed or rubbish pile the consequences and cost to your company can reach into the thousands of dollars to resolve.

Before you consider burning at your business, please visit https://dnr.wi.gov/topic/OpenBurning/Summary.html and learn from the Wisconsin DNR about the burning restrictions on business.

Wisconsin businesses, industry and municipalities generally need an approved incinerator to burn waste materials (and it must be for energy recovery), are prohibited from doing any open burning - with one exception:

business, industry or municipality may burn clean wood waste or brush after obtaining a license from the Waste and Materials Management Program to operate as a "wood burning facility" according to NR 502.11, Wis. Adm. Code.

The administrative rules of the Air Management and Waste & Materials Management Programs prohibit anyonefrom burning any of the following materials under any conditions:

With the requirements to pay for the DNR and local firefighting costs, fines and the possibility of paying to dig up and haul away contaminated media from your burn site to a licensed waste disposal facility, why would you risk burning at your business property in the first place?

If anyone has any questions about the burning laws or how to find out more information, please contact your local DNR fire warden or visit the Wisconsin DNR website.

Have a safe and happy spring!

Sincerely Your Fire Chief,

Chris Kluck