Controlled Burn Guidelines

These guidelines cover open burning and agricultural open burning. Open burning includes brush, trash, and debris piles, as well as vegetation residue and dried plant growth collected and piled. Agricultural open burning is the burning of cultivated crop residue, pasture, CRP, and other similar types of materials. Fires such as those conducted in a fireproof container with ember restricting cover, fire pits, warming fires, camp fires, or other recreational fires are exempt from these guidelines.

Approval for controlled burns may be provided if the following guidelines are met:

By calling (620) 694-2800 within 30 minutes of starting to burn 
No burn ban is in effect
The wind speed (including gusts) is less than 15 mph (for non-agricultural burns only)
The Grassland Fire Danger Index is not Very High or Extreme 
A fire break of at least 20 feet is provided on all sides of the field to be burned
Clearance of 100 feet from all structures is maintained
The burn shall be supervised by a responsible adult until the threat of fire is diminished
Initiation of a burn is not allowed earlier than one hour before sunrise or two hours prior to sunset.

Other Restrictions

Restricted Materials: The following materials may not be burned: heavy smoke producing materials such as heavy oils, tires, pallets, railroad and bridge lumber, treated lumber, roof shingles, wire insulation, plastics, rubber, or other materials.

Entire Resolution Governing Controlled Burning in Reno County

Helpful Links

Before starting your burn, use the links below to check fire weather conditions and the Grassland Fire Danger Index:
Weather Activity Planner
Hourly Weather Forecast Graph
Weather Conditions for Hutchinson, Hutchinson Municipal Airport, KS
Wichita fire weather information
Reno County Grassland Fire Danger Index
Kansas Forest Service Grassland Fire Danger Index

Grassland Fire Danger Index explained:
  • Low is less than 2
  • Moderate is 3-7
  • High is 8-19
  • Very High is 20-49 
  • Extreme is 50 or greater
  • Starting a burn in a “Very High” or “Extreme” grassland fire danger is strongly discouraged.
Links to Kansas Department of Health and Environment’s Air Quality Regulations:
KDHE Open Burn Regulations
Kansas Air Quality Regulations
Kansas Air Quality Statutes and Regulations

Informational Websites for safely performing Open Burning

KSU Prescribed Burn Notebook
Prescribed Burn Safety
Prescribed Burning Planning and Conducting
Prescribed Burning a Management Tool
Prescribed Burning Equipment
Grassland Management with Prescribed Fire
Conducting a Prescribed Burn on Warm-Season Grass CRP
Conservation Practices
Prescribed Burning Fact Sheet
Kansas Flint Hills Smoke Management