When is a burning permit required?
All full time fire districts, including Wentzville, O'Fallon, Lake St. Louis, Central County, Cottleville and St. Charles, issue their own burn permits within their districts. If you live outside these fire districts you must obtain a burn permit from the St. Charles County Building and Code Enforcement Division.
Burn permits may be issued for the following:
- Vegetation waste: Open burn permits may be issued to a private individual to open burn a small quantity of vegetation waste on his or her property.
- Bonfires: Bonfire permits may be issued if the following conditions are met:
- The bonfire must not be more than 5 feet tall by 5 feet wide by 5 feet long and not burn longer than 3 hours.
- Fuel for bonfire must only be made of seasoned dry firewood and must only be ignited with a small quantity of paper. The fire is not to be used for waste disposal purposes.
- A bonfire may not be conducted within 50 feet of a structure or combustible material unless the fire is contained in a barbecue pit. Conditions which could cause a fire to spread within 50 feet of a structure must be eliminated prior to ignition.
- Construction materials: Every effort should be made to move all construction waste off-site for proper disposal. In the event burning is necessary, only Class A material may be burned, by special permit only.
- Others: Any proposed burn not falling within the above defined categories must legally be done through a Department of Natural Resources permit approved in accordance with their procedures.
How do I apply?
To apply for a burning permit, please visit the Building Construction Permit section of our Citizenserve Citizen Access Portal.
Things to Know
- The fee for a commercial burn permit is $40 and a copy of the Department of Natural Resources letter must be provided.
- The fee for an individual burn permit is $25.
- No bonfires or waste/rubbish fires may be started within unincorporated St. Charles County without obtaining a burn permit first.
- Burning is prohibited from April 15 through Sept. 14.
- Burn piles are allowed, at maximum, to be no greater than 5 feet tall by 5 feet wide by 5 feet long.
- Recreational fires must not be conducted within 25 feet of a structure or combustible material. Conditions which could cause a fire to spread within 25 feet of a structure must be eliminated prior to ignition.
- Portable outdoor fireplaces must be used in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions and must not be operated within 15 feet of a structure or combustible material. Portable outdoor fireplaces do not require permits.
- Applications for open burning must be received at least 48 hours before the scheduled burn. The applicant must state the date(s) the burn will commence.
- Approved burn permits will be forwarded to the appropriate fire district.
- The location for any open burning must not be less than 50 feet from any structure and precautions must be made to prevent the fire from spreading to within 50 feet of any structure.
- Any open burning must be constantly monitored until the fire is extinguished. Fire extinguishing equipment must be available for immediate use (i.e. garden hose).
- Any open burning which is or which becomes offensive or objectionable due to smoke or odor emissions or due to atmospheric conditions or local circumstances which make such fires hazardous is prohibited. If this is the case, either the permit holder or the fire district will extinguish the fire.
- Persons holding an approved burn permit must schedule an inspection with the Building and Code Enforcement Division a minimum of one day prior to the burn. The inspection will be done on the day of the scheduled burn prior to the burn commencing.
- If a burn permit is approved, the permit is good for a period of 15 days from the date of approval by Building and Code Enforcement Division.
- Failure to comply with these procedures will result in a misdemeanor and will be punished as is provided by law.