Firepit safety and burning 101

Firepit safety and burning 101
Posted on 05/02/2022

Whether you’re looking forward evenings around the firepit or planning spring yard cleanup, being safe and knowing when you need a burn permit is essential.

Hot dogs on skewerRecreational burning includes the use of portable outdoor fireplaces and fire pits. This type of burning doesn’t require a permit at one- and two-family homes, but it must meet these requirements:

  • The fire must be contained within an aboveground or belowground fire pit that is covered by a spark-arresting screen.
  • Only traditional firewood can be burned. No yard debris allowed!
  • The pile cannot exceed 2 feet tall and 3 feet in diameter.
  • The fire must be at least 15 feet away from structures or combustible material. 
  • The fire must be attended at all times.

Read more about fire pit safety

Burning tree limbsResidential burning includes the open burning of land clearance materials like limbs and foliage. It requires a permit but not a site inspection. The permit must be obtained the day of the burn to ensure wind and weather conditions will allow for burning to take place. It must meet the following requirements:

The burn pile can’t be more than 6 feet tall and 8 feet in diameter.

The fire must be 50+ feet from structures or combustible material.

These burn permits cost $25. Apply for a Lenexa Burn Permit

Bonfires, ceremonial fires and commercial burning also require a burn permit. Learn more about the rules for these types of burning at

Burning brushPrescribed burnings are frequently used by local parks to conduct controlled burning for the purpose of vegetation management and for stormwater-related green infrastructure practices.

Agricultural burnings are used by farmers to conduct open burning of vegetation such as grass, woody species, crop residue and other dry plant growth to clear land for new crops to be planted.

Both prescribed and agriculture burnings must be conducted by an individual who has completed an approved training course. They are only issued to the landowner. These burns have more stringent requirements. To apply for this type of burn permit, call the Lenexa Fire Department Prevention Division at 913.477.7990.


Match with flameIn all cases, burning man-made materials such as trash, plastics, lumber and construction materials is prohibited.

Open burns must be attended at all times. Always have a means to extinguish the fire when burning is taking place.

If any burning negatively affects the livelihood of your neighbors, the Fire Chief is authorized to prohibit open burning.


No burningDue to a countywide burn ban, no burn permits are issued by the Lenexa Fire Department during the month of April.

Burn bans may also be issued due to high winds, extremely dry weather or when conditions are not favorable for open burning.

You can see when a burn ban has been issued on our burn permit application page.

Published May 2, 2022