Outdoor burning advice from the Lenexa Fire Department

Outdoor burning advice from the Lenexa Fire Department
Posted on 10/14/2020

Outdoor burning can give homeowners a way to get rid of some yard debris or allow families to gather together to enjoy these each other's company. Be aware of the different requirements and restrictions for different types of outdoor burning.

Do I need a permit to burn firewood in a firepit or outdoor fireplace? No.

Recreational burning and portable outdoor fireplaces at one- and two-family homes do not require a permit when done safely and following these requirements: 

  • The fire must be contained in a fire pit (above or below ground) and must be covered by a spark-arresting screen.
  • Only traditional firewood may be burned. You cannot burn trash or yard debris materials.
  • The pile may not exceed 2 feet in height and 3 feet in diameter. 
  • The fire must be located at least 15 feet from structures or combustible material. 
  • The fire must be attended at all times.

Do I need a permit to burn brush, leaves and branches? Yes.

Any burning in Lenexa other than recreational burning requires a permit. Burning yard debris is considered residential burning.

Burn piles cannot be larger than 8 feet wide and 6 feet tall. They must also be more than 50 feet from other combustible material, including homes. 

Several other requirements must be met and agreed to before a burn permit will be issued. 

Residential burn permits can be obtained online when weather and environmental conditions are met. The entire application process, including fee payment, can be completed through our online burn permit portal.

What safety precautions should I take when burning outdoors?

Whether you're burning a firepit, brush pile or campfire, follow these tips. Campfire accidents alone send thousands of people to emergency rooms with burn injuries each year.

  • Watch children while the fire is burning. Never let children or pets play or stand too close to the fire.
  • All fires should be attended at all times. A fire left alone for only a few minutes can grow out of control and cause a lot of damage.
  • Never use gasoline or other flammable or combustible liquids to start a fire. 
  • Always have a hose, bucket of water or shovel and dirt or sand nearby to put out the fire. Make sure to put it completely out before leaving the site.
  • If your clothes catch fire, stop, drop and roll. Stop, drop to the ground and cover your face with your hands. Roll over and over or back and forth until the fire is out.

Published Oct. 14, 2020