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Open burning and outdoor wood boiler complaints

State restrictions are limited regarding the open burning of materials generated by households. Your local government may have more restrictions on open burning than the state. If you have concerns or complaints about open burning or outdoor wood boilers (OWBs) consider taking the following steps.

1. If the burning presents an immediate risk of escaping and becoming wildfire, call 911 immediately. If the burning is unattended, falls within DNR Protection Areas and has the potential to escape and become a wildfire, call a DNR fire control dispatch office. If the burning is outside DNR Protection Areas, please contact your local fire department or local municipality.

2. Contact your local government (municipality or county) to determine whether there is an open burning, OWB or nuisance smoke ordinance that applies to the burning concern or complaint.

  • The DNR developed a model ordinance to help Wisconsin counties, cities, villages and towns adopt their own local regulations on outdoor burning and burning of refuse.

3. Use the "Can I burn?" tool to determine whether the burn you have a concern or complaint about is prohibited by state regulations. For more information about legal and illegal burning, see Know before you burn and outdoor wood boilers.

4. If the burn is prohibited by state regulations, file a complaint with the DNR Waste & Materials Management Program complaints coordinator. Submit the complaint online.

5. Consider contacting your local health department. They may have information about the health impacts of open burning and actions you can take to protect yourself.

6. If you are concerned about your neighbors' burning activity, you may want to speak with them to ensure they are aware of your concerns.