Fire departments, businesses, and contractors may conduct fire trainings with prior approval from IDEM. Approval is necessary for live fire training using structures, fire towers, fire simulators, extinguishers, and for other burning-related activities. Responsible parties must submit State Form 49635, Identification of Potentially Affected Persons, and the applicable state form(s) (available on the IDEM Forms page) to IDEM for prior approval:
- Notification of Demolition and Renovation Operations - 44593
- Request for Variance from 326 IAC 4-1 (Fire Training) - 49634
- Request for Variance from 326 IAC 4-1 (Motor Vehicle Fire Training) - 50337
If approval is granted, IDEM will provide the conditions required for burning in accordance with Indiana laws and rules, and issue public notification about the decision. Fire departments, businesses, and contractors must meet all conditions once an approval has been issued. Example conditions include:
- All structures must be inspected for asbestos by an Indiana-licensed asbestos inspector and all asbestos-containing materials must be removed using a licensed asbestos contractor. Asbestos-containing materials may not be burned and must be handled and disposed of in accordance with the applicable rules at 329 IAC 10 and 329 IAC 11. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency open burning and fire training site and IDEM’s Asbestos site provide details.
- Mercury containing equipment and fluorescent bulbs must be removed from the structure and properly recycled or disposed of in accordance with the applicable rules at 329 IAC 10.
- The fire department, business, or contractor must notify the county health department and county sheriff's department at least 24 hours prior to the burning and include the date, time, and location of the burning.
- No burning shall be conducted during unfavorable meteorological conditions such as high winds, temperature inversions, air stagnation, or when IDEM has issued an Air Quality Action Day (see IDEM’s SmogWatch page for alerts).
- All burning shall comply with other federal, state, and local laws, rules, and ordinances.
- IDEM may include other conditions in an approval, as necessary.
Note for Municipal Fire Departments:
If a municipal fire department meets all conditions in the Open Burning Rule at 326 IAC 4-1-3(c)(9), it may be exempt from the requirement to obtain prior approval for live fire training. If exempt, municipal fire departments may only burn two single family structures per calendar year. They must submit State Form 54801, Notification of Fire Training Burn Exemption (available on the IDEM Forms page) to IDEM at least 30 days before the date of the planned burning. Volunteer fire departments, businesses, and contractors are not eligible for this exemption and must always obtain prior approval before conducting any live fire training utilizing a structure. For more information, read IDEM’s Open Burning Rule - Fire Training fact sheet (available on the IDEM Fact Sheets page).
Fire Extinguisher Training
Fire extinguisher training may be exempt from prior approval requirements but is still subject to conditions in the rule including:
- Limiting types and quantities of fuel used.
- Notifying the local health department and fire department at least 24 hours before the training.
- Meeting specific conditions in Indiana’s Open Burning Rule at 326 IAC 4-1-3(c)(8).
If you have questions or need technical or compliance assistance, please contact IDEM.