Issuing Burn Bans
Authority for Local 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 dry weather.
According to the 2014 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.
Location of Burn Bans
The Indiana Department of Homeland Security has compiled a listing of areas that are currently under burn bans. They can be viewed on the Statewide Burn Ban Status Map.
To have a burn ban included on this listing, notify IDHS through the local county emergency management agency (EMA). Contact information for all Indiana EMAs is available via the statewide contact map.
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 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 a.m. and midnight on July 4.
- (C) between the hours of 10:00 a.m. on December 31 and 1:00 a.m. on January 1.
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 other days of the year.
When considering restricting the use of fireworks during a drought condition, local fire departments and legislative bodies may want to seek the advice of their municipal or county attorney to determine the appropriate vehicle to contain fireworks use restrictions.