1. Call the National Weather Service any time of the day or night, any day of the week at 800-211-1448. The weather can play a pivotal role in whether your burn is successful or not. Light
winds in the morning can become strong in the afternoon at the blink of an eye. We can tell you if that is likely to happen on the day you would like to burn and we can help you find a safer day if necessary.
2. Call the local authorities. By calling the authorities first, you ensure that your burn is legal and that it is not taxing resources unnecessarily. The local sheriff and your local fire department
do not want to field calls about your burn and have them turn into a false alarm. In addition, you may have to obtain a burning permit.
3. Talk to your neighbors. Let them know your plans, as a matter of safety and courtesy.
4. Establish firebreaks. Create firebreaks by raking or plowing around the area that you would like to burn. Keep that area free of vegetation and wide enough to protect what you don’t want damaged outside the burn area.
5. Ready water and equipment. Have a reliable water source available. Line up your hand tools, such as rakes and shovels, in advance and have them readily available for all participants.
6. Plan before burning:
• Begin with the areas that pose the greatest threat of becoming difficult to control. By beginning here, your fire is at its smallest size when it enters the highest fuel loads.
• Always try and burn into the wind, this slows the rate of spread and makes the fire easier to control.
7. Control the fire!
• Stay with the fire at all times. You may be liable for damage caused by your fire.
• Have plenty of helpers on hand. More people helping equals more control.
• Keep debris piles small. Large piles generate enough heat to damage nearby trees, power lines
• Do not hesitate to call 911 if the fire gets out of hand. The longer you wait, the bigger the fire will be when help does arrive!
• When finished, ensure that the fire is completely out. Numerous fires break out each year when smoldering areas are left behind. Make sure that your fire is out cold.
Remember: Your fire is your responsibility!