Open Burning, Burn Barrel, and Fire Prevention Ordinance
Chapter 376 of the Bad River Conservation Code


In 2002, Tribal Council passed the Open Burning, Burn Barrels, and Fire Prevention Ordinance, resulting in the implementation of a burn permit program. To date, burn barrels continue to be allowed on the Bad River Reservation as long as the owner or resident has a burn permit and complies with the restrictions outlined within the ordinance.


Obtaining a copy of the ordinance

A digital copy of the ordinance can be downloaded for review, either by clicking the image below, or saving the following link.

          --> Link: Open Burning, Burn Barrel, and Fire Prevention Ordinance.pdf


Do I need a permit?

There are exemptions for certain types of fire, listed below. Outside of these special cases, a permit is required.
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Open Burning versus Burn Barrels
There are similarities and differences between the two types of burning permits.
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Obtaining a Permit

Permits are free but applicants need to come in to the Bad River Natural Resource


Office and fill out a permit. Once a permit is filled out, it is reviewed and signed by the Bad River Fire/Conservation Warden.
Due to work schedules, administrative holidays, and staff availablility, burn permits can not always be signed immediately; the permit will usually be signed within 24 hours. If the permit can not be immediately signed, Natural Resource Department staff will call when the permit is ready to be picked up from the office.
Please plan ahead several days!

Required information for a burn permit:

      • Name of person responsible for burning (who will sign the permit)
      • Location of the burn (address)
      • Material to be burned
      • Quantity of material
      • Telephone number
      • Signature and date
burn smokey bear

Prohibited Items -- these may not be burned under any circumstance

    • Disposable diapers
    • Oil
    • Gasoline
    • Paint
    • Plastics (including Styrofoam)
    • Recyclable materials
    • Household trash or garbage (including kitchen garbage)
    • Cardboard
    • Non-recyclable paper containing plastic, paint, or other matter which is noxious when burned
    • Dead animals not being processed or cooked as food products
    • Any material that emits dense smoke or obnoxious odors
    • Thermometers containing mercury
    • Any item known to contain mercury or lead (including batteries)
    • Tires
    • Construction/demolitions materials (including wood treated with paint, stain, chemical treatments, or other contaminents)
    • Hazardous wastes
Fire Danger Levels
Smokey Bear (at the corner of Maple Street and Highway 2) constantly displays fire danger and lets everyone know when the fire danger rises.
When the fire danger rises to Very High or Extreme, burning is unsafe and a Reservation-wide burning ban may be issued. Smokey's primary concern is your safety, the safety of your home and your neighbors, and the protection of the environment.
Safety first!
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Please check the current fire danger level
by clicking the following link:
Burning Restrictions
The permit program restricts open and barrel burning to certain times, outlines
items that can be burned and ones that should not be burned and outlines
guidelines that should be followed when burning such as being prepared if the
fire gets out of hand (having a fire break), properly locating a barrel (10 foot
clear area, also outlining minimum distances to buildings etc), restrictions on
size of open burn piles, wind provisions (example: over 10mph, no burning),
and time/date restrictions.
fire please be careful
For current restrictions, please ask the Air Quality Specialist or the Fire
Warden. Current restrictions will be listed on the permit. Failure to follow
restrictions will be considered a violation of the ordinance.

Burning Bans
There are times of the year when fire danger rises, or certain weather
conditions occur that make burning dangerous.  Section 8 of the Burn
Ordinance allows the Bad River Fire Warden to declare a burning ban.
When a burning ban occurs, posters will be displayed at the usual
bulletin boards across the community and posted on the Bad River
Natural Resource Department website.
Section 12 gives enforcement authrority of the Burn Ordinance to the
Bad River Fire Warden, Conservation Wardens, and the
These authorities can:
      • enter private property, tribal, trust, alloted, or leased property at all times to inspect outdoor fires
      • issue immediate cease and desist orders for suspected violations or when burning appears to create an unsafe condition
      • issue citations for violations of the Burn Ordinance


 burn permit contacts transparent 2019
Public Nuisance
One person's burning can affect others. If you notice someone burning in an unsafe manner, or noxious smoke creating problems, please call a Warden, listed in the box above.
Penalties for Violations
Penalties may be imposed by the Bad River Tribal Court, these penalties are outlined in section 13 of the Burn Ordinance.

Bad River Air Quality Program 

► return to Air Quality homepage

► check current Fire Danger level