Burn Permits


Recreational fires do not require a burn permit, however it must have a total fuel area of 3 feet or less in diameter and 2 feet or less in height and be used for pleasure, religious, ceremonial, cooking, warmth or similar purpose. 

Any other open burning must have a burn permit which can be obtained at the City Clerk's Office. Please see the following regulations:


1. All burning must be immediately extinguished upon the request of the Fire Department if complaints are received from citizens affected by the smoke or odor.

2. The permit is valid only at the location specified on the permit, and only until December 31 of the year it is issued.

3. The cost of the permit is non-refundable. There are NO EXCEPTIONS to the refund policy even if all fires are ordered extinguished due to complaints or if no burning is conducted.

4. It is the responsibility of the permit holder to show a copy of the permit to police or fire personnel investigating complaints received from people complaining about smoke.

5. The permit holder must have the permission of the property owner at the location of burning.

6. Burning authorized under the permit may be suspended by the Fire Chief due to weather conditions.

7. Burning is to be done only in the actual physical presence of a person 16 years of age or older. At no time is the fire to be unattended.

8. Contents of fires allowed under the permit shall be limited to landscape waste defined as twigs and branches or brush no larger than 2” inches in diameter. YOU CANNOT BURN LEAVES, CLIPPINGS, OR RAKINGS.

9. Strictly prohibited from burning are rubber, plastic, garbage, refuse, leather, building construction materials, petroleum products, any painted item, any flammable or combustible liquids, etc.

10. All burning shall be at least 50 feet from a building and is NOT allowed in the public right-of-way.

11. The size of fires shall be limited to piles three (3) feet in height and eight (8) feet in diameter.

12. The permit holder shall take all reasonable actions to see that the fire does not spread.

13. No burning is allowed before sunrise. All fires must be extinguished one half hour before sunset.

14. The permit holder agrees that all damages caused to life and property by burning conducted under this permit is the total responsibility of the permit holder and further agrees to hold the City of Battle Creek blameless for any such damages.

15. Failure to follow any of the rules listed above is a civil infraction. The penalty for violating a rule is a $50 fine for the first offense, $100 fine for the second offense and a $200 for the third offense.

To receive a permit, you must apply at the City Clerk's Office, between the hours of 8:00 am and 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday.  

The current fee is $25.00.

*Leaves can be bagged in paper bags (no plastic) and be put out with your trash on your regular pick-up day.  You can also haul them to Brice Pit, the City's compost site (715 W. River Road).  Their hours are Monday - Friday 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.  If you mow your leaves, please do not mow them into the street or into storm drain inlets.