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Nebraska State Fire Marshal

Scott Cordes, State Fire Marshal

Burn Permits

The State Fire Marshal’s office has two types of burn permits – an Open Burn Permit and a Structure Burn Permit. These permits are issued by the state’s fire departments in accordance with state law.

Anyone obtaining either type of burn permit should also contact the Department of Environmental Quality regarding their requirements affecting open burns and any forms they may require.


Open Burn Permit

In accordance with State Statute 81-520.01 “(1) There shall be a statewide open burning ban on all bonfires, outdoor rubbish fires, and fires for the purpose of clearing land.” This statute was amended by LB 1069 this legislative session.  The statute will now have the following information regarding an Open Burn Permit.  “The permit issued by the fire chief to a person desiring to conduct open burning shall at a minimum contain (a) the name and telephone number of the landowner, (b) the burn location, (c) the date and beginning and ending time of the burn, (d) a description of the material to be burned, and (e) the name  and telephone number of the person responsible for the burn. The local fire department may have additional requirements for a burn to be permitted. The permit shall contain the signature, written or electronic, of the local fire chief.  The State Fire Marshal shall provide a sample form with the minimum requirements on the website of the State Fire Marshal.

Before any open burning is done, a permit must be obtained from the local fire chief or his/her designee on a form prescribed by the State Fire Marshal. Fire chiefs may develop their own forms that include the minimum requirements set forth in State Statute 81-520.01, as well as any other requirements they deem necessary.   

A sample form including only the minimum requirements can be found in a Word format and a PDF Format:

Word - Sample Permit

PDF - Sample Permit


Structure Burn Permit

State Statute 28-506 allows for “structures as condemned by law, structures no longer having any value for habitation or business or no longer serving any useful value in the area in which situated, and any other combustible material that will serve to be used for test fires to educate and train members of organized fire departments and promote fire safety anywhere in Nebraska” to be destroyed by burning. 

“Before the structure may be destroyed by fire for training and educational purposes” a permit must be obtained from the State Fire Marshal. The local fire chief must complete the first page of the permit. The second page requires the owner to give permission for the burn and their signature be notarized. The Structure Burn Permit may be downloaded and mailed to the address listed on the application. For more information, contact the Main Office at (402) 471-2027. Please use the following link for assistance with the legal description of the property.