Controlled Burn Information

The completed permit application with proof of payment from City of Waco Finance Department (at City Hall, Fourth Floor) for the permit should be taken or mailed to:

Waco Fire Marshal’s Office
1006 N. 25th Street
Waco, Texas 76707

Requirements for a Controlled Burn Permit

  • Burn must comply with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality’s (TCEQ) rules and regulations.
  • Burning must take place only during daylight hours.
  • Fire must be attended at all times and be completely extinguished before leaving site unattended.
  • Site plan showing the burn location and the location and distances to any structures or right of ways must be submitted to the Fire Marshal’s Office.
  • Copy of liability insurance covering the activity must be submitted to the Fire Marshal’s Office.  (A minimum $1 million liability policy is required for the burn.)
  • Fire control plan must be submitted including water sources and plan for controlling and extinguishing the fire.
  • Available water source and/or other extinguishing methods and fire control plan must be adequate for the size fire and must be capable of controlling any fire that may burn out of the control area.
  • Burn must not be located near structures, endanger adjoining property or cause a nuisance to neighbors.
  • After review of all requirements, a written permit will be issued to the applicant by the Fire Marshal.
  • Written permit must be on site during the controlled burn and all safety instruction must be followed.

PLEASE NOTE: If the Fire Department is required to respond to your controlled burn there will be a charge of $250 per hour per Fire Department Unit.

State Requirement Information

General Requirements for Burning

The Outdoor Burning Rule sets the following general requirements for allowable outdoor burning. They are designed to reduce the likelihood that burning will create a nuisance, cause a hazard, or harm the environment.

  1. Notify the Texas Forest Service before carrying out any prescribed or controlled burns that are intended for forest management.
  2. Burn only outside the corporate limits of a city of town, unless the incorporated city or town has an ordinance that permits burning and is consistent with Subchapter E of the Texas Clean Air Act (Texas Health and Safety Code Chapter 382).
  3. Begin or continue burning only when the wind direction and other weather conditions are such that the smoke and other pollutants will not present a hazard to any pubic road, landing strip, or navigable water (for example, a lake, river, stream, or bay) or have an adverse effect on any off-site structure containing "sensitive receptors" (for example, a residence, business, farm building, or greenhouse).
  4. Post someone to flag traffic if at any time the burning causes or may tend to cause smoke to blow onto or across a road or highway.
  5. Keep fires downwind of or at least 300 feet away from any neighboring structure that contains sensitive receptors. This requirement may be waived only with the prior written approval of whoever owns or rents the adjacent property and either resides or conducts business there.
  6. Begin burning no earlier than one hour after sunrise, end it the same day and no later than one hour before sunset, and make sure that a responsible party is present while the burn is active and the fire is progressing. At the end of the burn, extinguish isolated residual fires or smoldering objects if the smoke they produce can be a nuisance or a traffic hazard. Don't start burning unless weather conditions are appropriate for smoke to dissipate (winds of at least 6 miles per hour; no temperature inversions) and for you to be able to control the fire (winds no faster than 23 miles per hour).
  7. Don't burn any electrical insulation, treated lumber, plastics, construction or demolition materials not made of wood, heavy oils, asphaltic materials, potentially explosive materials, chemical wastes, or items that contain natural or synthetic rubber.
  8. In addition to meeting these requirements, outdoor burning must not cause a nuisance condition or traffic hazard according to 30 TAC Sections 101.4 and 101.5. The authority to conduct burning under the Outdoor Burning Rule does not exempt or excuse any person responsible for the consequences, damages, or injuries resulting from the burning and does not exempt or excuse anyone from complying with all other applicable laws or ordinances, regulations, and orders of governmental entities having jurisdiction, even though the burning is otherwise conducted in compliance with this regulation.