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Indiana Department of Homeland Security

IDHS > About IDHS > Fire & Building Safety / Services > Fire Safety & Services > Burn Bans & Fireworks > Issuing Burn Bans Issuing Burn Bans

Restrictions on outdoor burning activities or "burn bans" can be ordered by any local fire chief for his or her jurisdiction, or may be imposed by the legislative body of a city, town or county. While the Indiana State Fire Marshal does not declare local burn bans, the Fire Marshal supports local efforts to reduce the fire risk escalated by continuing dry weather.

According to the 2008 Indiana Fire Code, Section 307.1.1 "The fire chief is authorized to require open burning be immediately discontinued if such open burning constitutes a hazardous condition."

The local fire chief or local municipality that orders or imposes a burn ban is responsible for determining what activities will be permitted or restricted, who will enforce the ban, and how long the restrictions will last.

The Indiana Department of Homeland Security has compiled a listing of areas are currently under burn bans. You can see them all on the Statewide Burn Ban Status Map.

To have your burn ban included on this listing you must notify IDHS through your county Emergency Management Agency (EMA). Contact information for all Indiana EMAs is available at http://www.in.gov/dhs/2797.htm.

If you have questions about burn bans, please call the Indiana State Fire Marshal at (317) 232-2222.

Restricting the use of fireworks

The use of fireworks is NOT covered under the “open burning” provisions of Section 307.1.1 of the Fire Code. In other words, issuing a burn ban does NOT prohibit or restrict fireworks use in your jurisdiction.

Indiana Code 22-11-14-10.5* prevents local ordinances from prohibiting the use of fireworks

(A) between the hours of 5:00 p.m. and two (2) hours after sunset on June 29, June 30, July 1, July 2, July 3, July 5, July 6, July 7, July 8, and July 9;

            (B) between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 12:00 midnight on July 4.

However, local fire departments and legislative bodies can certainly appeal to their constituents to voluntarily refrain from using fireworks during these times.

Local ordinances can prohibit the use of fireworks on the other days of the year.

When considering restricting the use of fireworks during a drought condition, you may want to seek the advice of your municipal or county attorney to determine the appropriate vehicle to contain fireworks use restrictions.

Click here for an example from LaGrange County.   

*IC 22-11-14-10.5
"Use" defined; adoption of ordinance by county or municipality concerning use of consumer fireworks
    
 Sec. 10.5. (a) As used in this section, the term "use" means the ability of a county or municipality to regulate the days and hours when consumer fireworks may be used, ignited, or discharged.
    (b) Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter:
        (1) a county may adopt an ordinance concerning the use of consumer fireworks in the unincorporated areas of the county; and
        (2) a municipality may adopt an ordinance concerning the use of consumer fireworks within the corporate limits of the municipality.
    (c) An ordinance adopted under this section:
        (1) may limit the use of consumer fireworks in the county or municipality;
        (2) may not be more lenient than a rule adopted by a state agency concerning the use of fireworks; and
        (3) may not limit the use of consumer fireworks:
            (A) between the hours of 5:00 p.m. and two (2) hours after sunset on June 29, June 30, July 1, July 2, July 3, July 5, July 6, July 7, July 8, and July 9;
            (B) between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 12:00 midnight on July 4; and
            (C) between the hours of 10:00 a.m. on December 31 and 1:00 a.m. on January 1.