Open Burning & Fire Pits

open burningOpen Burning is prohibited within the boundaries of the City of Waukee, except when the following exists as per Waukee Municipal Code chapter 212:

  • This does not apply to indoor or outdoor fire places or barbecue grills with untreated wood for entertainment, religious, ceremonial, cooking, warmth or similar purposes. These are permitted.
  • A permit may be issued after review of the submitted application by the Fire Chief. The responsible party must provide the signed permit that was issued upon request.
  • Organic fire within agricultural areas zoned A-1 can be permitted as long as there are no fires within 1,000 feet of any land zoned other than A-1.
It is NOT permitted to burn rubbish/refuse which includes yard waste, tires, garbage or plastics.

Conditions
  • Burning may not take place under any circumstances when the wind is in excess of 15 mph or any burning bans are in place by the City, County or State.
  • No such fire shall be started within 30 feet of any combustible wall, fence, building, or structure.
  • Any fire not within a portable outdoor fireplace shall not be less than 25 feet from structures or combustible materials.
  • Any fire greater than 36 inches in width and/or two feet in height (bonfire) requires a permit.
Control of Fire/Attendance
  • Fires shall be constantly attended by a competent person until the fire is fully extinguished.
  • The attendant shall have access and knowledge to use an approved fire extinguishing equipment such as; portable fire extinguisher, water truck, garden hose, dirt, sand or water barrel.
  • Any permit granted requires that a reliable water supply, under pressure, must be available by hose line within 20 feet of the burn site.
Home-Type Regulations
  • One- and two-family dwellings and townhouses, constructed in accordance with the International Residential Code, are not regulated by the Waukee Fire Department regarding portable outdoor fireplaces and open-flame cooking devices due to the practical difficulties involved in enforcing such regulations. Grills should be placed at least 10 feet from any structure or combustible material. Portable outdoor fireplaces/fire pits should be constructed and operated in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions and not within 15 feet from structures or combustible materials.
  • In multi-family dwellings (apartments and condominiums), charcoal burners, other open-flame cooking devices and other devices that produce ashes or embers, shall not be operated on balconies or within 20 feet of combustible construction. LP-gas cooking devices having one LP-gas container with a water capacity not greater than 20 pounds may be operated per manufacturer’s instructions or within 10 feet from structures or combustible materials.
Penalty
Violating any provisions of this ordinance shall be guilty of a simple misdemeanor and upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine not exceeding one hundred dollars ($100), or imprisonment not exceeding 30 days. Each day upon which such violation occurs after a notice shall constitute a separate violation.

The Fire Department does have the authority to order the extinguishing of a fire when the open burning creates or adds to a hazardous situation or if a permit was required but was not obtained. An outdoor fire is prohibited when atmospheric conditions or local circumstances make such fires hazardous or a nuisance. 

Please use good judgment and common sense, and respect your neighbors.

Call 515-978-7998 to speak with a member of the Waukee Fire Department. Of course, call 911 in the event of a fire emergency.